Welcoming Congregation Resolution
On May 19, 2013, at the annual meeting, the congregation unanimously adopted the following resolution to renew our welcoming congregation status with the UUA.
Welcoming Congregation Resolution
The Welcoming Congregation program was launched by the UUA in 1990 out of an understanding that widespread prejudices and ignorance about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people existed within Unitarian Universalism, which resulted in the exclusion of LGBTQ people from our congregations. Today, 66% of U.S. UU congregations and 94% of Canadian UU congregations are recognized as Welcoming Congregations. [From the UUA website]
“Welcoming Congregation” is a codeword, a “term of art” as the lawyers say, widely recognized in the LGBTQ community. The Pacific School of Religion’s Coalition of Welcoming Congregations includes 197 Bay Area congregations, synagogues, and Buddhist sanghas. Our church is on the list because we voted to be a UUA Welcoming Congregation in 2003 after extensive congregational work. This year’s Welcoming Congregation Refresher program is intended to update our understanding of LBGTQ issues and renew our commitment to the program.
We of course do not limit our welcome to LGBTQ people! As our website says we welcome people of all genders, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, and creeds.
We the members of Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church embrace the commitments listed below and reaffirm our intention to be recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Welcoming Congregation.
1. A Welcoming Congregation is inclusive and expressive of the concerns of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons is fully incorporated by a Welcoming Congregation 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.
5. A Welcoming Congregation engages in outreach into lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, both through its advertising and by actively supporting other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender affirmative groups.
6. A Welcoming Congregation offers congregational and ministerial support for services of union and memorial services for persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender, 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues and history during the church year.
11. A Welcoming Congregation, as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and 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.
Item numbers added after the vote to facilitate discussion.