MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — A local church is stirring up controversy with a colorful and inclusive upcoming event.
The First Congregational Church in Madison is hosting a Drag Queen Bingo night on Saturday, Jan. 28, according to a press release from the church on Zip06.
Last year, the church held a Mardi Gras pancake dinner that only raised $120, so they were trying to come up with something else to do. The church said the response has been mostly positive, but some aren’t happy it’s being held.
“We envisioned it, and we still consider it to be just a form of entertainment that will bring people into the church,” said Todd Vetter, Senior Minister at First Congregational Church of Madison.
Vetter says it’s a fundraising effort for a youth service trip in June. It costs upwards of $25,000, and they’re hoping to alleviate the financial burden for families.
“The organization we work through is Appalachia Service project,” Vetter said. “They’ve been working in central Appalachia for about 50 years. They do mostly home repairs, home rehabilitation.”
Some people are upset drag queens will be part of this church event.
“It really took us by surprise, and we had no way of anticipating the response would be what it was,” Vetter said. “I speak for myself alone, not for the members of the church as a whole who hold a variety of opinions on this. Many are supportive, some are confused, some are frustrated, all of them have been civil.”
Vetter says the majority of concern stems from outside of the congregation. Shoreline Church in Old Lyme has made several posts on Facebook condemning this BINGO night.
“Your views of ‘love’ are not biblical, not founded on Christ’s teachings. There is nothing worse than twisting scripture to fit your ‘gospel’. FCC Madison & Interfaith Clergy joining in with this event – sin is abounding,” Shoreline Church posted online.
Others have taken to social media, encouraging everyone to come and support their mission.
There will be police at the event on Saturday night.