With everyone back at UUCPA (whether in-person or online) for the 2022–23 worship and school year, now is a great time to celebrate our most-recent Welcoming Renewal! This work exemplifies our commitment to LGBTQ+ people and our ongoing transformation as a congregation.
What is Welcoming Renewal?
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) started the Welcoming Congregation program in 1990 to address widespread homophobia and exclusion of lesbian and gay people in UU spaces. UUCPA first achieved Welcoming Congregation certification in 1998, at a time when regular renewal of that certification was not expected.
Today, through its Welcoming Renewal program, the UUA now calls on UU churches to formally renew their commitment annually, to ensure that churches grow with their LGBTQ+ communities and respond to the evolving call for justice on behalf of transgender, non-binary, intersex, bisexual, and other LGBTQ+ people.
UUCPA’s Welcoming Congregation team is delighted to share that, during the summer months, the UUA certified that UUCPA has completed our second such annual Renewal!
What we did during 2021–22:
Despite the pandemic, 2021–22 was an incredibly productive year for Welcoming Renewal at UUCPA. Thanks to the efforts of many, many people, we:
- Converted the restrooms in the Main Hall into single-occupant / family / all-gender restrooms, thanks to an unanimous vote by the UUCPA Board of Trustees.
- Offered four Welcoming Worship Services that uplifted themes of LGBTQ+ welcome and inclusion.
- Observed Pulse Night of Remembrance, Celebrate Bisexuality Day, National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Transgender Day of Visibility.
- Hosted a live book talk on Zoom with Dr. Jane Fleishman about her book The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging.
- Convened a Forum discussion about “Radical Welcome at UUCPA” and what we’ve learned from the Transforming Hearts Collective course “Transgender Inclusion In Congregations.”
- Began an Appreciative Inquiry project to interview UUCPA congregants about our diverse experiences of, and future hopes for, LGBTQ+ welcome. So far, 33 people have been trained in Appreciative Inquiry, conducted interviews, and/or been interviewed for the project.
- Raised funds for Outlet, a program of Adolescent Counseling Services, as one of our monthly Justice Partners.
- Offered Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive sexuality education classes for the grade-spans K–2, 4–6, and 7–9.
- Presented the history of Welcoming Congregation programs at UUCPA, as well as our commitment to the OWL program, as part of UUCPA’s 75th anniversary series of church history webinars.
- Revamped UUCPA’s Welcoming Congregation webpage, so that it’s aligned with the UUA’s Welcoming Renewal program elements and informed by what we’ve learned from the aforementioned “Transgender Inclusion In Congregations” course.
The 2022–23 Welcoming Renewal year has already begun, and we dove right in by flying our beautiful new intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flag every day during Pride month!
To stay up to date on UUCPA Welcoming events, actions, and ideas, email
firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for UUCPA’s Welcoming Congregation email list.
Here’s to another great year to come!