Restoration: A Welcoming Congregation
Being a Welcoming Congregation - those who publicly and successfully welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people have the following qualities:
- Include and address the needs of b/g/l/t persons at every level of congregational life—in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in rites of passage—welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
- Assume the presence of b/g/l/t people and celebrate this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
- Fully incorporate the experiences of b/g/l/t persons throughout all programs, including religious education. Include an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in our by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
- Engage in outreach into the b/g/l/t community in its advertising and by actively supporting b/g/l/t affirmative groups.
- Offer congregational and ministerial support for union and memorial services for b/g/l/t persons, and for celebrations of family definitions.
- Celebrate the lives of all people and welcome same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirm displays of caring and affections without regard to sexual orientation.
- Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
- Encourage the presence of a chapter of Interweave.
- Affirm and celebrate b/g/l/t issues and history during the church year.
- Attend to legislative developments and work to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
- Speak out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.
- Celebrate the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.
— from the UUA website