The Welcoming Congregation Program is a program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that want to take intentional steps to become more welcoming and inclusive of people with marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities. The term “Welcoming Congregation” has a special meaning in our faith tradition; fulfilling the program and the achievement of receiving its designation represents our commitment to offering an abiding welcome to LGBTQ+ individuals and families.
Religious communities have perpetuated and supported prejudice and violence against the LGBTQ+ community for centuries. The "Welcoming Congregation" designation helps UU congregations explicitly tell the queer community that there is a religious community where they can be affirmed, loved, and embraced for who they are.
First launched in 1990, the Welcoming Congregation program grew out of an understanding that although we pride ourselves on being liberal, affirming, and welcoming, there remained widespread prejudices and ignorance about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people within our congregations. This program actively combats that ignorance and encourages congregational growth.
First Parish is proud to be going through this process, and reflecting on ways to consciously and explicitly welcome the LGBTQ+ community. We have been hosting educational programs and workshops, sharing worship about LGBTQ+ history and current issues, fighting toxic cultures of ignorance and shame, making our policies and the structure of congregational life more inclusive, and connecting with the wider community to support LGBTQ+ causes, justice, and equality.
Meet the Welcoming Congregation Committee!
Our AMAZING committee co-chairs, Lynn and Jean!
First Parish in Stoughton
P.O. Box 284 790 Washington Street Stoughton, MA 02072 tel: 781-344-6800