Welcoming Congregation Designation in 1997
The Welcoming Congregation Program is a volunteer program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take intentional steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
First launched in 1990, the program grew out of an understanding that widespread prejudices and ignorance about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people existed within Unitarian Universalism, which resulted in the exclusion of LGBTQ people from our congregations.
Today, 66% of U.S. Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations and 94% of Canadian UU congregations are recognized as Welcoming Congregations. The program is supported by LGBTQ Ministries.
UUCOB has been recognized as an Honor Congregation by the UUA for donating our Fair Share of Membership Dues to the UUA for many years.
Unitarian Universalism and LGBTQ Issues:
Standing on the Side of Love is a public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. It is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and all are welcomed to join.
This is a time of great hope and possibility, yet our communities are threatened by the increased prevalence of acts motivated by fear and hate.
No one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of their identities.
In public debates over immigration, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, and more, religious people stand on the side of love and call for respect, inclusion, and compassion.
The Standing on the Side of Love campaign elevates compassionate religious voices to influence public attitudes and public policy.
All Are Welcome Here
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, y no habla ingles. We welcome Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, and everyone in between. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or who could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli, or if you can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re underdressed, overdressed, or cross-dressed.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teen-agers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte sippers, vegetarians and junk-food lovers. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, or down in the dumps, or you don’t like “organized religion” (we’ve been there, too). If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you’re welcome here.
We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or came because Grandma is in town and wanted to go to church. We welcome those who are inked, pierced, or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throats as kids, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome the flexible, inflexible, tolerant, intolerant— those who laughed, and those who gasped at this welcome. We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters, bleeding hearts . . . and you!
(Adapted from a welcome by Rev John Petty at All Saints Lutheran Church, Aurora CO, by way of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.)