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Welcoming Congregation Program

In 1987 the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) established the Common Vision Planning Committee. This committee found many negative attitudes, deep prejudices, and profound ignorance about bisexual, gay, and lesbian people, which resulted in the exclusion of bisexual, gay, and lesbian people from their churches. As a result of these findings (PDF of Report available from the UUA website), the delegates of the 1989 UUA General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to initiate the Welcoming Congregation program to educate its members. Each congregation adapts the program to best meet its goals and each unique situation can bring positive changes to individuals and congregations.

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.

The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence has been a Welcoming Congregation since 1995. Our Welcoming Congregation efforts are ongoing and include (but are not limited to) the work of the Big Ol' Gay Committee

More information about the UUA Welcoming Congregation Program is available on the UUA website. 


 

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Join us for Services and Religious Education Classes
Sunday Mornings at 10 AM
 Childcare provided at all serrvices 
   
March 8 
"An Antidote to Fear"The Reverend Sara LaWall 
The power of belovedness is an antidote to fear.  As a people of bold faith, we are called by this power of belovedness to create a more just and peaceful world.  Doing so requires we walk into the fear and fully embrace a vision of possibility.
 
 March 15
 Musical Sunday: Bragging for Humanity Gregory Hayes, Music Director 
(Share the Plate Sunday)
 The physician and author Lewis Thomas was asked how humans could best communicate with extra-terrestrial life. He suggested music--specifically, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach: "Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging, of course..." Two weeks ahead of the composer's 330th birthday, we'll hear Bach's concerto in D minor for two violins and orchestra. Greg will do his best to explain why this constitutes bragging of the highest order.  
 
 
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Unitarian Society of
Northampton and Florence
220 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 584-1390

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