Thirty-seven-year-old Gage Jung is the pastor of the fledgling Hipster Church in Flushing, Queens, whose motto is "This ain't your mama's church." Gage, who was formerly lead pastor at United Generation Church in Brooklyn, has a growing congregation of hip, eclectic individuals who temporarily worship in a non-traditional manner each month at the Sheraton hotel in Flushing. Jung, a self-described hipster, said, "We're not trying to make a church like the one your parents went to. We're trying to make a church for our generation."
And who's to say that Jesus wouldn't have approved of P.B.R., European cigarettes, and Che bios anyhow? Jung follows in the footsteps of other alternative pastors like Jay Bakker, the pierced and tattooed son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, who founded the Revolution Church (motto: "Religion kills") which holds services at the nightclub Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Jung currently has just over thirty followers, and is shooting for 100 by September, when the church is scheduled to officially open. Services at the Hipster Church run ninety minutes and feature a house rock band that plays original religious tunes. In lieu of physical Bibles, congregants use a hipper iPhone Bible app, and time is set aside for participants to mingle while enjoying snacks and indie music like MGMT and Arcade Fire.
The Hipster Church enables a certain type of person to feel a connection and derive spiritual sustenance without having to put on a suit and perform what often amount to alienating rituals. Omar Flores, who previously attended a Presbyterian church in Manhattan, said:
"At the other church, you just listen to the pastor. There's no vibe to it. With Gage, there is. He has something to offer the community and his members."
So if you favor Buddy Holly glasses, skinny jeans, goofy facial hair, and military hats, you now have a place to worship without worrying about funny looks.