Almost 20 years ago, First Parish was certified as a Welcoming Congregation by going through steps from the UUA. So much has changed since then, and there is so much new information to learn. Last year, 2019, we created the Welcoming Congregation Renewal Committee to manage the fulfillment of the annual Welcoming Congregation Renewal requirements from the UUA. There are 5 required steps we will formally complete, and we will continue offering education programs for us to learn together.

In 2020 we..

  • Held five learning sessions:
    • Our Welcoming Congregation history and why renewing is important at this time
    • “What is an ally?” – how can cisgender and straight friends be supportive
    • The ABCs of LGBTQ+ – This unicorn represents the wide spectrum of  gender and sexuality
    • How to be a supporting community for those coming out – angela gave the group a presentation full of her real-world experiences working with her students
    • Systemic Injustices Facing the LGBTQ+ Community (available online)
      Family conflict is the most commonly reported cause of all youth homelessness. For LGBT youth in particular, the conflict tends to be over their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, that is not the only reason for their homelessness. (Session recording)
    • • Hung prominent Progress Pride Banner on School St. side of church
  • Inserted quotes into Sunday services, from LGBTQ+ community
  • Held two services to honor LGBTQ+ people
    • Worship with McKayla Hoffman & Tony Winters: “Pure Love, Pure Joy” – The Welcoming Congregation task force begins our renewal process with a question: What does it take to truly be a people of radical welcome? What must be mitigated within to be sure we are not only welcoming, but also showing boundless love for a person’s whole self? Service Recording on Facebook
    • Worship with the WCRC, celebrating Pride – The Welcoming Congregation Renewal Committee celebrates Pride with songs, memories, and the spirit of commitment to continue our journey in creating an inclusive community and working for LGBTQ justice and equity. Service Recording