About Welcoming Congregation
The Welcoming Congregation program started in the Unitarian Universalist Association in the early 1990’s with the intentional program of welcoming gays and lesbians. This was revolutionary. There were few gay or lesbian clergy, we were beginning the struggle of civil rights in Maine, and UU sexuality education that included gender and sexual affiliations was truly ‘cutting edge’. The intervening years have been evolutionary. The spectrum of intentionality has expanded to include people who identify as bisexual, transsexual and transgendered, and questioning, from the young to the elderly. Our Whole Lives curriculum, resources used in RE, session plans in Small Group Ministry, and educational and awareness programs offered throughout the year weave Welcoming Congregation into the fabric of the congregation. Welcoming is what we model for each other, for our children, and for the larger community with our public affirmation, interactions and language.
We voted to become a Welcoming Congregation on March 1, 2009, and received the UUA certification.
The Welcoming Congregation Alliance promotes a congregational culture that is welcoming and nurturing to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual. While retaining this focus, the Alliance includes other areas of intentional welcoming.
The responsibilities and activities of the Welcoming Congregation Alliance are:
- Provide resources, educational activities, small group ministry sessions, celebrations and outreach.
- Collaborates with other UUCC Committees , such as Religious Exploration, Faith in Action, Small Group Ministry, Membership, Worship, and Pastoral Care, and with organizations in the larger community.
- Communicates and collectively defines and works on various areas of welcoming within the congregational structure.