UUFE invites all individuals to be a part of our liberal religious community, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national origin.
What is it?
The Welcoming Congregation Program is a voluntary program developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1989 for congregations seeking to be inclusive toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people. It is in keeping with Unitarian Universalism’s first principle, “We covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of all persons,” we believe that it is essential to welcome, affirm, and support GLBT people.
Congregations who publicly and successfully welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people have the following qualities:
- Includes and address the needs of b/g/l/t persons at every level of congregational life—in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in rites of passage—welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
- Assumes the presence of b/g/l/t people and celebrates this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
- Fully incorporates the experiences of b/g/l/t persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
- Includes an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in our by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
- Engages in outreach into the b/g/l/t community in its advertising and by actively supporting b/g/l/t affirmative groups.
- Offers congregational and ministerial support for union and memorial services for b/g/l/t persons, and for celebrations of…family definitions.
- Celebrates the lives of all people and welcomes same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affections without regard to sexual orientation.
- Seeks to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
- Encourages the presence of a chapter of Interweave.
- Affirms and celebrates b/g/l/t issues and history during the church year.
- Attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
- Speaks out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.
- Celebrates the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.
Making it official
In November 2014, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to affirm UUFE’s status as a Welcoming Congregation.
Every other month, a group of eight to 12 members gathering at Broadway Christian Parish on the morning of the second Sunday. They purchase food and prepare a hot meal for the homeless, something this church has been doing for years. Contact Linda Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We help keep our neighborhood in Elkhart looking beautiful as volunteers pick up trash along a 1-mile stretch of Johnson Street (County Road 9), just east of our campus. To find out more, contact Steve Cripe at email@example.com.