welcoming-congregation

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto is a church that welcomes a diversity of people. We are intentionally open to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Unitarian Universalists actively honor the worth and dignity of all people. You are welcome in our community!

The Unitarian Universalist Association developed the Welcoming Congregation program for congregations to use to educate themselves about GLBT issues and barriers to being truly welcoming. We have been affirmed as a Welcoming Congregation. The Welcoming Congregation Task Force creates and supports programs at UUCPA to increase awareness and support of the Welcoming Congregation commitment. We are pleased to be engaging in continual renewal of this commitment using the Unitarian Universalist Association’s resources and guidelines, the Five Practices of Welcome Renewal.

We Side with Love.  All can celebrate their love with dignity and joy.

We strive always to publicly and successfully welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people by cultivating the following qualities of our congregation:

  • Including and addressing 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.
  • Assuming the presence of b/g/l/t people and celebrating this diversity by having inclusive language and content in our worship.
  • Fully incorporating the experiences of b/g/l/t persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
  • Including 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.
  • Engaging in outreach into the b/g/l/t community in our advertising and by actively supporting b/g/l/t affirmative groups. For example, one of UUCPA’s monthly Justice Partners is Outlet, a local organization empowering Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning youth.
  • Offering congregational and ministerial support for wedding, union and memorial services for b/g/l/t persons, and for celebrations of all families.
  • Celebrating the lives of all people and welcoming same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirming displays of caring and affection without regard to sexual orientation.
  • Seeking to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
  • Encouraging the presence of a chapter of Interweave.
  • Affirming and celebrating b/g/l/t issues and history during the church year. For example, we held a Transgender Day of Remembrance service and a small contingent took our banner to San Jose Pride.
  • Attending to legislative developments and working to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. For example, we were active in the fight against Proposition 8, and before that, the Knight Amendment.
  • Speaking out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake. For example, our Action Council and Parish Minister responded publicly when the rainbow flag was stolen from a local church.
  • Celebrating the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.

Welcoming Congregation News