Welcoming Congregation

uua_lgbtq_logo_welcomecongregation_1000px_300dpi_rgb

On Sep 16, 2007
The congregation voted unanimously (57 – 0)
to affirm that we are a

welcomingwords

How did the journey come about?

The Welcoming Congregation (WC) certification program was created by the UUA as a way to put “intentionality” into congregation commitments to be a welcoming, safe place for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and/or Transgender members and visitors. To date, over 516 UU Congregations have been certified, including Asheville, Hendersonville, and seven others in North Carolina.

The UUCSV’S Social Action Committee began discussing the WC possibility in 2005 and in May 2006 sent a delegation to the UU Fellowship of Clemson which had just received its WC certification.

Upon the SAC’s recommendation, the UUCSV Board of Trustees voted in June 2006 to begin the WC process here in our congregation. The WC Committee had its first meeting in July and on October 1, 2006 celebrated WC Sunday with speakers from the UU Fellowship of Clemson.

9-Part Workshop Series
2nd Tuesday of each month in 2006-2007 – at our Church
7:00pm-9:00pm

On issues and challenges facing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender friends, members, and guests. ….and how each of us in the UUCSV can be in solidarity with 516 other UU Congregations in this important struggle for equality and civil rights.

Oct 10, 2006

Come Take A Journey! Getting Started
Monroe Gilmour, Deb Vingle
26 Attended

Nov 14, 2006

Why Gay Rights Matter – co-hosted with The EqualityNC Foundation
Prof. Shannon Gilreath law.wfu.edu/faculty/profile/gilreasd/, Wake Forest University Law School – author of Sexual Politics: The Gay Person in America Today
93 Attended

Dec 12, 2006

What We Know and How We Learned It
Jerry Pope, Jen Stump
29 Attended

Jan 23, 2007 – Originally scheduled for Jan 9

The Common Elements of Oppression
Carolyn Shorkey, Pat Middleton
25 Attended

Feb 13, 2007

Gender Socialization & Homophobia
Deb Vingle, Jane Carroll
17 Attended – In Spite of Snow

Mar 13, 2007

Religion & Homosexuality
Tim Perry, Peter Boggs
31 Attended

Apr 10, 2007 – 6:00 pm

Potluck for 30 youth on the EqualityBus.
They will be sharing their experiences with us.
See www.soulforce.org for details of these Freedom Riders of the LBGT issue

Apr 24, 2007 – Originally scheduled for Apr 10

Experiences of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and/or Transgender People
Jane Carroll, Deb Vingle
33 Attended

May 22, 2007 – Originally scheduled for May 8

How Homophobia Hurts Us All
Angie Underwood, Monroe Gilmour
23 Attended

Jun 26, 2007 – Originally Scheduled for Jun 12

What Now On Our Journey?
Monroe Gilmour & Committee
26 Attended

Sep 16, 2007

Congregational Vote on Becoming a Welcoming Congregation
Approximately 57% of the members attended and voted unanimously (57 – 0) to affirm
We were approved and the UUA gave us a certificate which we hang in the church, sending a message to members and guests that we have taken the journey and become an official Welcoming Congregation!

Aren’t we already welcoming?

UU congregations, including ours, definitely are welcoming. Through the WC’s educational program we make sure that we understand issues and challenges facing GLBT people, and that we integrate that understanding into every part of our congregational life. By going through this year-long educational process, we say to GLBT members and visitors that we are serious about recognizing the societal prejudices and civil rights issues involved – and that we stand with you.

Why is strong congregational participation important?

Strong congregational participation in the workshops is important to the effectiveness of the program – the more people who participate, the more people who will share a common body of knowledge and experience. That shared commitment will give our congregation an even deeper ethic of reaching out, welcoming, and being-there for GLBT members and visitors.

Welcoming Congregation Resources & Activities
In the UUCSV library:

The Welcoming Congregation Handbook: Resources for Affirming Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and/or Transgender People published by the UUA

“Tying the Knot: The Union that’s Dividing America” a riveting 83 minute documentary about same-sex marriage. Our hope is for everyone in the congregation to see this powerful film! We started with a showing of it on September 10, 2006.

UUA web sites:

http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/welcoming

Site Design by MaxWebGear.com