For the last 25+ years, First Unitarian Church has been a Welcoming Congregation, one of many in the Unitarian Universalist Association. This means the congregation is part of a volunteer program for congregations that want to take intentional steps to be more welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The UUA identifies Five Practices of Welcome which guide our work. These include:
- Becoming a Welcoming Congregation, or working to renew your Practices;
- Welcoming Worship Services, which include holding services that honor an LGBTQ+ day of observance, or holding a milestone or rite of passage for an LGBTQ+ member of the congregation;
- Welcoming Days of Observance, which commemorate and elevate landmark days and seasons in LGBTQ+ communities (Pride Season, Transgender Day of Visibility, World AIDS Day, etc.), through worship services, public events, or other gatherings organized by the congregation;
- Welcoming Religious Education, or congregational participation in a faith-formation curriculum that engages LGBTQ+ issues and topics; and
- Supporting a Welcoming Project by providing monetary support to a local LGBTQ+ organization.
Welcoming Congregations should implement each of these practices annually. Because they are so comprehensive to the life of the congregation, all areas of congregational life can and should participate in and contribute to the future of our Welcoming Congregation. If you want to learn more about our work as a Welcoming Congregation, or want to talk about implementing a practice, please talk to Birch Spick firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transgender Action Group
The Transgender Action Group is working to increase awareness of transgender lives and issues within the Church community as well as provide a safe haven and resources for transgender people in need. Through education and speaking events, the group educates the congregation on what gender identity is, how it is separate from sexual orientation, and ways they can provide support and encouragement to the transgender people within our community. Contact: Franco Berardi email@example.com.