An LGBTQ-Welcoming Congregation

Rainbow Flag

COMMITMENTS
By voting to become a Welcoming Congregation, First Unitarian Church agreed to the “Commitments” listed in The Welcoming Congregation Handbook. Commitments are quoted from The Welcoming Congregation Handbook, Second Edition pp. 13-14.

  1. A Welcoming Congregation is inclusive and expressive of the concerns of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons at every level of congregational life—in worship, in program, and in social occasions, welcoming not only their presence but the unique gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
  2. A Welcoming Congregation does not assume anyone’s affectional/sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Vocabulary of worship reflects this perception; worship celebrates diversity by inclusivity of language and content.
  3.  An understanding of the experience of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons will be fully incorporated throughout all programs, including religious education.
  4.  The bylaws and other official documents of a Welcoming Congregation include an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
    •  “This congregation affirms and promotes the full participation of persons in all its activities and endeavors--including membership, programming, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals--without regard to race, color, gender, physical or mental challenge, affectional or sexual orientation, class, or national origin.
           Bylaws, Jan 13, 2009
  5. A Welcoming Congregation engages in outreach into the bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender communities, both through its advertising and by actively supporting other bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender affirmative groups.
  6. A Welcoming Congregation offers congregational and ministerial support for services of union and memorial services for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons, and celebrations of evolving definitions of family.
  7. A Welcoming Congregation celebrates the lives of all people and welcomes same-gender couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.
  8. A Welcoming Congregation seeks to nurture ongoing dialogue between people of different affectional/sexual orientations and gender identifications, and to create deeper trust and sharing.
  9. A Welcoming Congregation encourages the presence of a chapter of Interweave (Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender concerns).
  10. A Welcoming Congregation affirms and celebrates bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender issues and history during the church year (possibly including Gay Pride Week, which is in June).
  11. A Welcoming Congregation, as an advocate for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people, attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. It speaks out when the rights and dignity of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people are at stake.
  12. A Welcoming Congregation celebrates the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.