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Switch to Forum Live View Non-"Welcoming Congregations"?
6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2008 - 11:08AM #51
AintKatie
Posts: 1,657

bob2 wrote:

We've come to the conclusion that welcoming has to mean more than simply being friendly: it has to be institutionalized.  We will probably be recognized as a Welcoming Congregation within a year.  --Bob



After posting a while ago that ours wasn't a designated Welcoming Congregation, I talked to our minister and he said it was about the complicated process. We are bigger now than ever before, and we're growing..so it's a reasonable time to consider beginning the process. In fact, I just found out it's up for a vote in the very near future. I guess because we were so small, and deep into trying to deal with a location, it just wasn't high on the list of priorities to commit to a lengthy project..especially when we already had gays, lesbians, transexuals, blacks, and others as part of our group. Anyway, we move forward and I would imagine we will make ourselves officially what we already are unofficially..a welcoming congregation.  :D

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2008 - 11:42AM #52
AintKatie
Posts: 1,657

rbchaddy2000 wrote:

Look I am for accepting gays, but gay pride makes me uncomfortable. I think that this welcoming idea could be quite divisive if embraced in such detail and dogmatically. I have a libertarian side that says that this is a leftest agenda best left open to personal decision rather than from on high in a strictly prescibed way. Be open to all, but leave out the training. This gives me a reason to remain an independent religious liberal that refuses to officially affiliate with either the AUC which dogmatizes on God, or the UUA that tells me how to be officiallly welcoming. Spare me from both.



Richard, do you realize how much this looks like the old "I've got nothing against gays, but I don't want them shoving their lifestyle down my throat"?

Why does Gay Pride make you uncomfortable?

Leftist agenda? Best left open to personal decision? THAT reminds me of "I'm all for civil rights, but they're moving too fast. Nobody should be forced to sit near blacks in restaurants or serve them or let them in the front door or go to school with them, etc.

I'm not saying you're a bigot, Richard. What I'm saying is that your remarks here, in this thread, are strikingly similar to things I've heard all my life from "conservatives" about desegregation, about tolerance (much less acceptance) of gays, about women's rights, and just about everything else that is out of the norm, something that threatens a comfy status quo. I'm wondering why you're having difficulty with change..with things you perceive as political stands being forced on you (or others).

Ok, here's the last bit of confusion. I perceive a negative vibe when you say something like "leftist agenda," you say you have some Libertarian in you, you describe yourself as a religious liberal.
In your mind, what's the difference between "leftist" and liberal?
Are you feeling kind of like the pushme-pullme? Being pulled in opposite directions?

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2008 - 3:50PM #53
darcamani
Posts: 2,152
What I am seeing here is very similar to what I experienced within my own progressive, liberal tradition.
" All are welcome"
Certainly!!!
We are UUs!

Then lttle things started getting noticed , during joys and concerns , a fairly traditional time  in a service to share as a community highs and lows, anniverseries birsths, deaths , what have you, a lesbian couple, well known and active within the church from early growing  up,  announced their umteenth  anniversery, a milestone normally greeted with gentle laughter and applause, was received in dead silence.

Heterosexual pride applauded moments before, for a small newly married het couple with a baby.
2 hets managed to breed, and were applauded, 2 lesbians,partnered and having lived through a great deal of hell,  managed to live together and stick together through much more, awarded  with  silence.

Sometimes being liberal takes a little extra home work.  Self work.. 

I can't be sexist,  I am a woman .
I can't be racist, I am black!
I am way to smart for all that or,   I am a therapist!  I CAN"T be ...  or certainly AM NOT!.!!!!
Or I am A liberal !
Or I am A UU!  Or my favorite to date, I am a lesbian Republican and have no problems with any one!

Just a few examples of what I heard worked with in many workshops.

Hello all; we all are human, and the WC curricula , like any, is to be used as a guide not a 1 sentence fits all sort of thing.

The work shops are an on going thing, and really as a congregation grows so does the WC program.  Times change, definitions change, communities differ.  What worked in my liberal backdrop may need to be modified for another.

It is a flexible program.  I encourage those that doubt the loudest , co-chair the committee.
Find someone, any one with in your congregation and just go over definitions.
on" Moving toward  a more inclusive language."

We did that as a committee before we even got started... then we went one on one...
then we brought it to a larger group before we even voted to BEGIN the WC process. 
We had to figure out as a small working team where we had to manage our own differences and "isms" and whew! 
Many tears, hugs, arguements, hissy fits and completely clueless moments led  to a congrgational vote, that finally led to  well attended workshops and loads of input ,that lead us to being Welcoming.
Oficially the work is still ongoing.
It is the committee with immediate gratification, the relief one gets after having been blown away and finds oneself still standing .

My take on things, 'course I am not in Kansas.

This turned out backwards,  anyway I am going for it...

Double standard, and big time gaps were showing in this wonderful bastian of liberal, highly educated spiritually fair minded adults.

That lead to a very heated session of "furthering conversation and the real service"  aka, coffee hour , which lead to further highly charged meetings, with  "I don't want to be a part of a "gay "  chuch"  , and " we are already welcoming!:" and " it is no big deal, gay people are welcome here, except for the little guy in a dress, no one knew what to do with him but you... (pointing at me),  I  simply gave her some info asked her to lunch. :) ... and then light bulds started going off, we started a committee, a scary thing in any church and dug in.

So, yes, it takes time, yes it takes work and yes, it takes real committment , and a firm knowledge this info will be passed on, growing , changing and will be in the hands of our future. 

Our young'uns need to see how the process really happens, we we fortunate, our youngest member of the committee was only 12 when he started.  he now can talk about issues that send hardened profs to the loo wiping tears of frustration, relief or embaraasment from their eyes.
Namely me...

yes us liberals can be uptight.


Dar
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2008 - 5:15PM #54
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832

darcamani wrote:

What I am seeing here is very similar to what I experienced within my own progressive, liberal tradition.
" All are welcome"
Certainly!!!
We are UUs!

Then lttle things started getting noticed , during joys and concerns , a fairly traditional time in a service to share as a community highs and lows, anniverseries birsths, deaths , what have you, a lesbian couple, well known and active within the church from early growing up, announced their umteenth anniversery, a milestone normally greeted with gentle laughter and applause, was received in dead silence.

Heterosexual pride applauded moments before, for a small newly married het couple with a baby.
2 hets managed to breed, and were applauded, 2 lesbians,partnered and having lived through a great deal of hell, managed to live together and stick together through much more, awarded with silence.

Sometimes being liberal takes a little extra home work. Self work..

I can't be sexist, I am a woman .
I can't be racist, I am black!
I am way to smart for all that or, I am a therapist! I CAN"T be ... or certainly AM NOT!.!!!!
Or I am A liberal !
Or I am A UU! Or my favorite to date, I am a lesbian Republican and have no problems with any one!



This is an important point, Dar. Thank you so much for posting it.

I've discovered that it's when I'm congratulating myself most fervently for how tolerant I am, I'd better start examining just how valid that tolerance actually is.

AintKatie makes some significant points in this regard as well. Thanks to you, too.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2008 - 5:37PM #55
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
I noticed while checking the UUA site that there's a recently completed, just this past December, review curriculum for welcoming congregations.

I know from a couple of decades as a high school teacher how very important review is. :)

Anybody whose congregation has had WC status for a while and done their own review? How long after getting the status was it done? Any mention of your congregation's getting involved with the new review curriculum?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 6:10PM #56
bob2
Posts: 176
I volunteer for too many things. I always say yes. (Actually this is why I disapear from BN now and then ;-) )

I'm a member of our W.C. comittee but I've missed a couple meetings. Today we had our first work shop. We talked about why we want to do this ( we want to be active not just passive welcomers). We did some guided meditation and silently asked ourselves about our experience with exclusion, love, sex and our feelings about homophobia. No one was pressured to be politically correct or leftist. We ended up having great conversations over coffee. So far - so good!
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 6:30PM #57
bob2
Posts: 176
[QUOTE=rbchaddy2000;217205]Darcamani: Thanks for the information. Again I am leary of the bandstanding of political correctness. Why is this even necesssary? Is it about politics or religion? Richard[/QUOTE]

RB,

I do understand your being leary of political correctness.  Political correctness actually gets in the way of sharing and support. PCness can create an "I am more saintly than you atmosphere".

On the other hand, I am concerned about your question,  " Is it about politics or religion? "

It is absolutely about religion. Jesus (and others) taught us to "love one another". The Welcoming Congregation process is about doing something about that affirming love that religion calls us toward. It's a call to live religion openly. It is important to explore this as members of a religious community, not merely as leftist political activists.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 7:26PM #58
AintKatie
Posts: 1,657

bob2 wrote:

Political correctness actually gets in the way of sharing and support. PCness can create an "I am more saintly than you atmosphere". On the other hand, I am concerned about your question,  " Is it about politics or religion? "



I guess PC is a buzz term that means different things to different people. To me, saying something is PC is the same as saying it's the current fad or the current annoyance. "Oh, gee. Now I have to be PC and not say 'wetback' when referring to people with Mexican ancestry."  If Political Correctness is the reason UU congregations are deciding whether or not to become Welcoming Congregations, then, imo, the whole thing is a sham.

My own congregation is going to start working on it and if I get a hint that the work is strictly for PC, I'll vote against it. But I don't believe it will be. There already are members in my congregation who are gay/lesbian and at least one transexual person. I reckon if anybody was going to be a jerk about such things, they've already left.

Where was I? Oh, how much I don't like that PC thing. For me, what is now referred to in a negative way as PC is almost always what I would consider common decency. The whole point of bringing things to people's attention, consciousness-raising, is to make life more equitable in the USA. It's to give blacks, browns, yellows, and reds, disabled, women, gays/lesbians, children, everybody..every body..a fair and decent shot. I can't imagine what could be wrong or negative about that. So, I say..let's get rid of the Politically Correct terminology and start calling it Common Decency. I'd like to see people muttering, "Oh, CD. What a bore."  :rolleyes:

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