Reverend Kathy Rickey
Reverend Kathy is available by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays, she will be available 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., except the third Thursday of the month. Friday will be Reverend Kathy’s sermon-writing day, and Tuesday will be her day off. Reverend Kathy's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A WORD FROM OUR MINISTER— Our Welcoming Congregation
Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will see a notice about the congregation’s need to re-certify as a Welcoming Congregation which is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s designation for a congregation that has taken the steps necessary to educate themselves on LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning) issues and are ready to welcome folks who so identify into our midst.
A number of years ago, we received our certification but are now being asked to refresh and update our welcoming skills. Many new terms and an expanded understanding of human sexuality has come about since our last certification. One of the most important aspects I’ve learned in recent years is that human sexuality and identity are not binary. To put it another way, heterosexuality was never really a norm, although it seemed to be in our society because anyone courageous enough to identify outside the seeming norm of heterosexuality has been and still is suppressed, oppressed, punished, shunned, beaten, and even murdered.
As Unitarian Universalists, we know the worth and dignity of every person. We have been able to look past our biases and prejudices, our norms and expectations in order to see the heart and soul of LBGTQ people. What we found were people no different in their joys and sorrows, struggles and triumphs, no different in their parenting, their work, what they value, and what has meaning for them. Their sexual identities and preferences have nothing to do with who they are as fellow human beings.
Yet as UU’s, we need to deepen our understanding of human sexuality, including our own, regardless of orientation. As a congregation, we need to continue our education and continue building our skills in being a Welcoming Congregation. Most importantly, as a Welcoming Congregation we need to be accepting of people with sexual orientations which differ from our own. I ask that you open your hearts and minds to the LGBTQ community.
Therefore, I invite you to join the Welcoming Congregation Re-Certification Committee as we present films, workshops, worship services, and discussions on the true fluidity of human sexuality. The Re-certification Committee, approved by the Board as an ad-hoc committee consists of Brenda Tart, Rita Scheeler, Sara Rivers, Kathryn Neel, and me. We will soon be publishing dates, times, and places of the above-mentioned events. If you have any questions or concerns about the Re-certification programming, please email me, email@example.com
Yours in faith, Rev. Kathy
Following the 1968 UUA General Assembly most African-Americans left our congregations over what became known as the Empowerment Controversy. For a summary of these events, I encourage you to read “Not Our Finest Hour.” Rev. Kathy Rickey