The Welcoming Congregation Program is a completely volunteer program
for congregations that see a need to become more inclusive towards
bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people. It consists of a
series of workshops developed by the UUA. The goal of the workshops is
to reduce prejudice by increasing understanding and acceptance among
people of different sexual orientations. Some of the workshop titles
include: How Homophobia Hurts Heterosexuals; Connections to Other Forms
of Oppression; Gender Socialization and Homophobia; and Biblical
Perspectives on Homosexuality. Many congregations offer the workshop
series several consecutive times as an adult religious education
curriculum open to all members and friends. In some congregations the
workshop series (and later the entire program) is sponsored by a
Welcoming Congregation Task Force/Committee created for just this
purpose, while other congregations sponsor the workshop series through
their Interweave chapters. In either case, the workshops are best
facilitated by those that have experienced the curriculum.
Murray UU Church became
Congregation on April 11, 2004 after a congregational vote, an exercise
in democracy that allowed us to formally state our desire to be intentionally
welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender persons by intentionally
accepting their contributions to our congregational lives.
Our Mission Statement
are a group of concerned members of the Murray Church congregation who are exploring our
thoughts, feelings and knowledge about sexual orientation and gender
identification with the goal of raising the awareness of the congregation about
these issues and identifying ways to reach out to the gay, lesbian and
publicly acknowledge and welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people
in accordance with guidelines established by the
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). We:
- Include 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
- Assume the presence of b/g/l/t people and celebrates this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
- Fully incorporate the experiences of b/g/l/t persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
- Include 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
- Engage in outreach into the b/g/l/t community in its advertising and by actively supporting b/g/l/t affirmative groups.
- Offer congregational and ministerial support for marriage and
memorial services for b/g/l/t persons, and for celebrations of...family
- Celebrate 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.
- Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian,
transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and
- Encourage the presence of a chapter of Interweave.
- Affirm and celebrates b/g/l/t issues and history during the church year.
- Attend to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
- Speak out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.
- Celebrate the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.
for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns
The mission statement for Interweave
reads as follows: "Interweave is a membership organization affiliated with the
Unitarian Universalist Association. It is dedicated to the spiritual, political,
and social well-being of Unitarian Universalists who are confronting oppression
as lesbians, gay men, bisexual persons, transgender persons, and heterosexual
allies. It celebrates the culture and lives of its members."
Interweave membership is open to all interested UUs
of any sexual or affectional orientation. It has chapters in many Unitarian
Universalist congregations and districts, as well as a Continental chapter.
Membership in Interweave involves two primary goals:
• the creation of local groups for bisexual, gay,
lesbian, and transgender Unitarian Universalists for support, socializing, and
sharing life issues, and
• outreach to the larger bisexual, gay, lesbian,
and transgender community to publicize the religious alternative offered by
Interweave is an affiliate organization of the UUA.
At both its annual Convocation and the UUA's General Assembly Interweave
sponsors worship and workshops that address b/g/l/t issues and their
interrelationship with other forms of oppression. Interweave also produces a
quarterly newsletter. For more information about the organization please write
to the address listed above.
Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender
25 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108 USA
OBGLTC is part of the Faith in Action
Department at the UUA and administers the Welcoming Congregation Program, as
well as provides general b/g/l/t resources.
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns
167 Milk St. #406
Boston, MA 02109 USA
Use of the
Rainbow Flag by the gay community began in 1978 when it first
appeared in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade. Borrowing
symbolism from the hippie movement and black civil rights groups, San
Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag in response to a
need for a symbol that could be used year after year.
The 6 Colors of the flag are
Red for life
Orange for healing
Yellow for sun
Green for nature
Blue for harmony
Purple for spirit.
The Pink Triangle is easily one
of the more popular and widely-recognized symbols for the gay community. The
pink triangle is rooted in World War II times, and reminds us of the
tragedies of that era. Although homosexuals were only one of the many groups
targeted for extermination by the Nazi regime, it is unfortunately the group
that history often excludes. The pink triangle challenges that notion, and
defies anyone to deny history.