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Welcoming Congregation

A Welcoming Congregation is a congregation that has gone through an educational process focused on understanding and affirming bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender people in the congregation.  For Unitarian Universalists, this process is guided by materials such as the Welcoming Congregation Handbook provided by the UUA's Office of Bisexual Gay Lesbian and Transgender Concerns (OBGLTC).

The First Unitarian Church of San Jose has a history of supporting the rights of sexual minorities.  In 2004 we began working on a Welcoming Congregation program organized by our Welcoming Congregation Committee, presenting workshops, worship services, films, and speakers.  Our church was officially recognized as a Welcoming Congregation by the OBGLTC in 2006.  In late 2007, the Committee became the Welcoming Congregation Action Group, under the aegis of the Social Justice Council, and continues to provide information and events on BGLTIQ issues.  As a church, we strive to actively include people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Three documents were developed for our church by the Welcoming Congregation Committee to reflect the welcoming presence in our church communities:  Policy of Inclusion, Guidelines for Inclusion in Worship, and Statement on Marriage Equality.

The Welcoming Congregation program encourages involvement with Interweave. Interweave Continental is a membership organization recognized by the UUA and dedicated towards ending oppression based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Followers of Unitarian Universalist principles who are bisexual, gay, lesbian, intersex, transgender, questioning, or allies, may develop local Interweave chapters or join as individual members. Members are encouraged to meet locally for socializing, support, mutual education and sharing of life concerns, and connecting with the larger community. There is also an online Interweave discussion group. For information see the Interweave Continental website.

For the next meeting of the Welcoming Congregation committee at FUCSJ, contact socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org.

Resources:

UUA Welcoming Congregation