Dreams and Visions is a church in Baltimore that’s awake to the realities of our world and alive to the possibilities of God.
Together, we’re creating an imaginative space of restoration, where we find the courage to be our full selves.
Dreams and Visions is a church in Baltimore that’s awake to the realities of our world and alive to the possibilities of God. We seek to pattern our lives after Jesus, that healer, agitator, and teacher who stands on the side of the oppressed.
We’re a church that’s open, queering, and welcoming.
Our faith lives go through different seasons. Whether you’re in a time of doubt, exploration, or awakening, you are welcome to bring the fullness of your experience to Dreams and Visions.
We are a progressive Christian community. Here, the Bible is not a rule book to be interpreted literally, but a library of stories from a diversity of times and places, through which God speaks to us.
Our congregation grows from the witness of LGBTQ+ folks. That does not mean you have be LGBTQ+ to attend! Rather, it means we see and celebrate all the Queer community has to offer as people of faith, and reflect that beauty.
The name “Dreams and Visions” comes from the prophet Joel, who writes during a time of great devastation of God’s promise. Joel writes,
“Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.”
In those days, prophesy was the role of just a few elite men. But God shows Joel a vision of God’s spirit poured out, not just on a few, but on everyone. Even those who are enslaved, Joel promises, will be filled with God’s spirit.
This passage speaks to a promise that is for everyone, no matter where you came from, who you are, or how others have judged you.
God’s spirit is poured out for all, and we are called each day to dream, imagine and envision what a world overflowing with God’s love would look like.
Divine Selfies! The Divine Selfie booth visited the Pride Festival and the Farmer’s Market. The selfie booth was the inspiration for our logo, reminding us that the Divine shines in each of us.
Dreams and Visions started off with a dream, appropriately enough. Actually, not just one dream, but a few. Our Bishop Bill Gohl (as well as his predecessor) had dreamed of a new spiritual community taking root in Lauraville. Emily Scott, now our pastor, dreamed of a congregation that was fresh, joyful, and justice oriented, where LGBTQ+ folks were part of the DNA of the community.
It turned out God shared that dream, and brought together Emily, the Delaware-Maryland Synod, and bunch of leaders, supporters, and congregants to imagine something new together.
After spending about six months listening and learning about the kind of spiritual community that might be needed, the fledgeling congregation held their first worship service in the Red Canoe. At that time, we used the provisional name #ImagineAChurch, while we learned more about what kind of community we were called to be.
By the second service, we had grown out of the cosy cafe and sought a new space at 3400 Norman Avenue, just down Harford Road. While the church was planted in Lauraville, we show up to support justice work all over the city, from the Pride Festival to the street corner with Baltimore Ceasefire, to the steps of City Hall.
In November, 2018, we announced our official name: Dreams and Visions. Now it’s time to see what God is dreaming of for this new community.
Who knows what we might create together? We will hear one another’s stories, restore one another’s souls, be a community of love, fight for a more just world. God will show us the way.
Dreams and Visions is a project of the Lutheran Church (ELCA). But you don’t have to be a Lutheran to take part in this community. Everyone is welcome, from all traditions.
Lutherans believe that no matter how far you wander or how far you fall, God can always find you, and is always searching for you. God’s grace is always close enough to reach.
The ELCA is a denomination that supports the lives and ministries of LGBTQ people and, does incredible work with refugees and immigrants. The local expression of our denomination called the Delaware-Maryland Synod. Bishop Bill Gohl, Dr. Amsalu Geleta, and the Synod Council have all worked together so that Dreams and Visions might come into being!
Dreams and Visions meets for Sanctuary Sundays (every Second Sunday of the month) in a cosy wooden hall with big windows and room for kids to roam. The hall is located in Northeast Baltimore, just off of Harford Road near Lake Montebello. Parking is plentiful, public transit is nearby, and Lauraville is a lovely neighborhood for you to explore before or after worship!
While worship takes place in the Northeast, we connect with the whole city.
In between Sanctuary Sundays, we will soon have House Church Abbeys hosted around they city. These gatherings, facilitated by trained congregants are a time to read scripture, share stories, and draw closer relationships between one another and God.
Finally, each month we hold a Being Baltimore event — a time for our congregation to build relationships with community groups, organizers, and leaders in Baltimore City. Together we advance causes of justice, sustainability and love, bringing God’s realm into the hear and now by supporting people who are already active and working in Baltimore.
At Dreams and Visions, we try to live these truths:
That there is a spark of the divine in each of us, and we are all, in our diversity, reflections of God.
That difference is a gift, not a problem.
That God’s dream for the world is wider than we can sometimes grasp.
That creation is good and we are called to care for it.
That to be human is to be broken, but wholeness can be found in God.
That Jesus came to bring truth and justice.
That we are called to speak truth and do justice too.