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
More information about the UUA Welcoming Congregation Program is available on the UUA website.
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The Reverend Janet C. Bush
A new movie based on the best-selling “Left Behind” series will be released in October – promising to expose and convert more people to a version of end-times beliefs espoused by some Christian groups. Is there an end-times belief system for Unitarian Universalists? Those of us left behind when the bus to New York pulls out can consider what that system might look like, and what it has to do with the People’s Climate March.
The Religious Journey of a Zen Priest and Unitarian
An overview of Zen Buddhism in America through the experience of a contemporary American Zen practitioner, who is an ordained Zen Priest and Unitarian.
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Unitarian Society of
Northampton and Florence
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Northampton, MA 01060
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