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Switch to Forum Live View Non-"Welcoming Congregations"?
6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:02AM #11
bob2
Posts: 176
Is there a reason UUs typically use BGLT rather than GLBT?

Actually yes.  There is a group of people who think that bisexuals have been overlooked in the Welcoming process in the past (true) so they are trying to put special emphasis on bisexuals as corrective.  It's not official.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:11AM #12
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Interesting conversation. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:16AM #13
bob2
Posts: 176
[QUOTE=Clairraven;121480]I'm not a fan of the "welcoming" designation or the other one for the anti-racist whatever it's called.  It isn't that I'm opposed to welcoming, I just think that a church that claims to value the inherent worth and dignity of each person shouldn't have to go through welcoming education.  Sitting next to someone at church who is different than oneself in any way and talking with them at coffee hour and sharing a few words of encouragement doesn't deserve some pat on the back and I think that is what these types of designations are about. 

Faith communities should lead by example.  Reach out to everyone who might be in need of a spiritual home.  Seek to serve the needs of all.  Greet all visitors warmly and invite them to get involved.  Anything beyond that seems like singling people out and trying to prove we are morally superior to others by fussing over them.[/QUOTE]
Actually, what happened was the UUA did a survey on homophobia in the denomination was was shocked to find out that there was a good deal more of it than anybody had anticipated.  Thereupon the UUA developed this program, mostly to raise people's awareness of their own prejudice--prejudice, by definition, tending to be unconscious.

This is the same road followed by other denominations in developing Welcoming programs.  We have learned that LGBT first-timers looking for churches routinely go on the web and look for the label.  It's not a guarantee by any means, but it's better than guessing.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 10:34AM #14
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
Hmmmm...your remarks lead me to wonder if I'm being naive and hopelessly idealistic, bob2.

Some years ago while teaching in a very small Kansas high school, I became aware of how thoroughly dismissed GLBT students were with whom I worked as a debate coach. Quite literally, a segment of the community not only didn't want any information about sexual orientation made available to teenagers but insisted that everyone actively deny that "we have any of THEM here."

So, I took the opportunity to educate myself on GLBT people's concerns in order to do what I could to help such students. Even so, I'm sure that I probably am not as sensitive as would be desirable.

Now that I think about it, I'm inclined to wonder if there's any reason other than personal choice why I've never seen two women whom I know to be a couple sit together during services at my church. Considering that I live in a somewhat homophobic part of the country, perhaps they feel that welcoming congregation or not, their sitting together is a little too "upfront" about their relationship for comfort. I hope that's not so, but it might be.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 8:56AM #15
bob2
Posts: 176
My congregation is just starting to get around to becoming a Welcoming Congregation.  15 years ago, we were nearly 20% LGBT, including 3 members of the Board.  The Welcoming curriculum is actually quite involved, and we saw no reason for us to do it; we have limited time and resources, we thought we were plenty welcoming, and we were doing other things.  During that time, nearby congregations that went through that process now have large LGBT populations and our LGBT population has become smaller.  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
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:02AM #16
bob2
Posts: 176
Is there a reason UUs typically use BGLT rather than GLBT?

Actually yes.  There is a group of people who think that bisexuals have been overlooked in the Welcoming process in the past (true) so they are trying to put special emphasis on bisexuals as corrective.  It's not official.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:11AM #17
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Interesting conversation. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 9:16AM #18
bob2
Posts: 176
[QUOTE=Clairraven;121480]I'm not a fan of the "welcoming" designation or the other one for the anti-racist whatever it's called.  It isn't that I'm opposed to welcoming, I just think that a church that claims to value the inherent worth and dignity of each person shouldn't have to go through welcoming education.  Sitting next to someone at church who is different than oneself in any way and talking with them at coffee hour and sharing a few words of encouragement doesn't deserve some pat on the back and I think that is what these types of designations are about. 

Faith communities should lead by example.  Reach out to everyone who might be in need of a spiritual home.  Seek to serve the needs of all.  Greet all visitors warmly and invite them to get involved.  Anything beyond that seems like singling people out and trying to prove we are morally superior to others by fussing over them.[/QUOTE]
Actually, what happened was the UUA did a survey on homophobia in the denomination was was shocked to find out that there was a good deal more of it than anybody had anticipated.  Thereupon the UUA developed this program, mostly to raise people's awareness of their own prejudice--prejudice, by definition, tending to be unconscious.

This is the same road followed by other denominations in developing Welcoming programs.  We have learned that LGBT first-timers looking for churches routinely go on the web and look for the label.  It's not a guarantee by any means, but it's better than guessing.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 10:34AM #19
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
Hmmmm...your remarks lead me to wonder if I'm being naive and hopelessly idealistic, bob2.

Some years ago while teaching in a very small Kansas high school, I became aware of how thoroughly dismissed GLBT students were with whom I worked as a debate coach. Quite literally, a segment of the community not only didn't want any information about sexual orientation made available to teenagers but insisted that everyone actively deny that "we have any of THEM here."

So, I took the opportunity to educate myself on GLBT people's concerns in order to do what I could to help such students. Even so, I'm sure that I probably am not as sensitive as would be desirable.

Now that I think about it, I'm inclined to wonder if there's any reason other than personal choice why I've never seen two women whom I know to be a couple sit together during services at my church. Considering that I live in a somewhat homophobic part of the country, perhaps they feel that welcoming congregation or not, their sitting together is a little too "upfront" about their relationship for comfort. I hope that's not so, but it might be.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 2:58PM #20
Clairraven
Posts: 925
[QUOTE=bob2;122635]Actually, what happened was the UUA did a survey on homophobia in the denomination was was shocked to find out that there was a good deal more of it than anybody had anticipated.  Thereupon the UUA developed this program, mostly to raise people's awareness of their own prejudice--prejudice, by definition, tending to be unconscious.[/QUOTE]

I think you hit on a larger problem in the UUA.  For all of the touchy-feely, democracy and freedom rhetoric, the organization doesn't have diversity to back up its claims.  Many minority groups could feel the sting of prejudice in lots of UU churches.  Too many UUs pay lip service to inherent worth and dignity, but they just don't live it. 

I wonder if that is because there isn't a defined set of spiritual values to live up to.  Maybe the 7 principles are not sufficient for spiritual growth and transformation.
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