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Switch to Forum Live View Non-"Welcoming Congregations"?
6 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 3:39AM #31
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832

Heyoka95 wrote:

I would think part of the reasoning some UU's congregations are not more "welcoming" would have to do more with the city/community. As in areas in the Bible belt that are traditionally homophobic just won't have a welcoming UU community either.



Perhaps, but you might be pleasantly surprised. My own church in central Kansas, which is decidedly Bible belt, is not only a welcoming congregation, but I couldn't begin to identify who are GLBT and who aren't by where people sit. Sometimes, the people I know are G/L couples sit together, other times they sit separately with straight friends or acquaintances.

As nearly as I can tell, the members of my church are very devoted to sustaining our welcoming congregation status.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 3:44AM #32
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832

Heyoka95 wrote:

Here's a question for you all- why is there no I in GLBT for UU welcoming congregations for the Intersexed people? Many of the larger Pride organizations now use GLBTI to include the intersexed (hermaphrodite) population. You might actually be surprised how many Intersexed do exist.



Probably because it hasn't been all that long ago that the welcoming congregation program was established. Thus, we're still using the acronym that formed the basis for the program.

If you haven't already, you might email the UUA's division for sexual orientation concerns (linked on the UUA site) and ask if there is any move to add the "I" for intersexed. It's quite possible that no one has yet urged that that be done.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 7:38AM #33
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
I recognize the GBLT/BGLT community, but I favor congregational autonomy. I am turned off by any requirements. I find this creedal. Why do we have to have tests on anyting? Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 11:48AM #34
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832

rbchaddy2000 wrote:

I recognize the GBLT/BGLT community, but I favor congregational autonomy. I am turned off by any requirements. I find this creedal. Why do we have to have tests on anyting? Richard



Creedal? Tests?

I'm uncertain to what you refer, Richard. Do you mean that you believe the Welcoming Congregation program represents a creed? Say more, if you would, please.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2008 - 1:07PM #35
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
DotNotInOz: I just don't find it necessary. I favor the ordination and recognition of legal marriage for people of gay/lesbian orienation, but just like the God test in the AUC, it turns me off to make it the statement for all of that congregation. There is diversity of opinion on this i'm sure. Why not promote awareness of the needs all people have for dignity and for tolerance in this matter as a worthwhile goal, but please do not cram it down peoples throats. Diversity shuold respect the right to not have to pursue the legalism inherent in such a "welcoming statement". Respecting people as the people  they are would I think trump the need to be so explicit. Maybe I am wrong. Peace. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 2:46AM #36
Heyoka95
Posts: 5
I may be wrong about this because I most certainly am not a UU expert, but I got the impression the whole "welcoming" thing was a way to encourage GLBT to attend.  That's how I felt at least because historically all other denominations were decidingly against GLBT people and even had many sermons trying to convince the followers that GLBT will burn in hell, etc. Thus GLBT people grow up with this idea they are not welcome anywhere and most certainly not in any church. So I got the impression the UU's were trying to un-do some of the hurt and offer a healing place for the soul by making welcome the GLBT.

In other words any congregation that thinks its ok for the GLBT to attend kinda has to go out of their way a bit to "announce" everyone is welcome. As a GLBT I can tell you most of my brothers and sisters are very emotionally damaged by growing up among prejudice, so that's why the vast majority of GLBT will never darken the doorway of ANY church for their entire adult lives.

But I also took the welcoming congregation label of the UU church I attended to mean they welcome everyone that walked in the door regardless of their beliefs, gender, race, orientation, etc.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 8:20AM #37
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Heyoka: Yes, welcome everyone. I am all for it, but explicit political correctness turns me off just as explicit creeds do. We are about deeds and not creeds. Love and accept everyone, and make that clear. I'm implicit on this and not explicit. Peace. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 8:23AM #38
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Human love should be unconditional. We accept and love you for who you are. Come and worship in your own way with us as you are. You are OK to be just you. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 12:09PM #39
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
Welcoming everyone regardless is, of course, the UU ideal. Unfortunately, we humans all too frequently fall short of our stated ideals, sometimes even when we think we're reaching toward them in how we act and speak.

Rather than being a banner of political correctness, I think that the Welcoming Congregation program was established primarily as an educational one for congregations. I can see that such might well be necessary to dispell ignorance and misconceptions about GLBT orientations and to insure that congregants' behavior is truly welcoming.

Heyoka makes a significant point, I think. Unless people are voracious researchers as I am, they may pick a church to visit without knowing much about what they may encounter at a service. I've known people to visit a church simply because a friend who went there asked them to come along some Sunday. Newcomers to very small towns in the central U.S. often spend their first few weeks in town fielding invitations to attend various local churches, churches about which they may know little or nothing. For GLBT people, attending a church because the neighbor you just met invites you to could well be fraught with possibilities for a most unpleasant experience. Consequently, I can see how the WC designation could be quite reassuring that people in that congregation are informed and less inclined to make insensitive remarks or engage in other offensive behaviors, even unintentionally.

The program isn't by any means required. Congregations can and do decide not to enter into it. So, I'm not sure why you object to it so strongly, Richard. I do agree with you, however, that if UU's truly lived our Principles, then these programs would be entirely unnecessary. It's sad that the need for programs like this one apparently exists despite our purported support for our Principles. I don't think "We're fallible humans" is an adequate excuse, personally.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 15, 2008 - 1:44PM #40
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Dot NotInOz: We do agree in principal, but not in method. If we worked together at a church on this, I would probably concede to go ahead after stating my reservations. Peace. Richard
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