Yesterday Deb and i attended the Congregational Meeting at our church for the first time and we've been members for three or four years now. We felt the time was immportant to go as the vote was being held on "Welcoming Congregation"...it passed with 53 yea's, 2 nay's and one abstention.
Welcoming Congregations is a distinction within the Unitarian Universalist Churches, a church that has gone through the outlined programs & held the prescribed discussion groups and workshops can then attain this distinction if the congregation so votes. What this specific distinction means is that the larger population of the church has been educated, thought about, discussed the benefits of visually declaring publicly that our church is a welcome place to members of the GLBT community who are seeking a spiritual home. "I thought Unitarian Churches all welcome gay people?", you might ask. They do, but not all gay people know that and if the church has a rainbow symbol by it's information on the UUA homepage and one out on their sign in front of their physical church building, then people will know FOR SURE that this church is a safe place for them.
I'm so proud of my Deb. She was approached about spearheading this project more than two years ago and she got the ball rolling with one other person, reading the workshop materials and preparing the original proposed outline that was presented to the Church Board. Once all that hard work was done other people came in and sort of insinuated themselves onto the project and instead of offering to help Deb and the other gal, they kind of shoved them out of the way and took over...Deb was very hurt and upset for a while, to the point that she didn't want to go to church events any more, but slowly she has come to realize that it doesn't matter who's in charge of the project - it just needs to get done. I just wish the people who had hurt her would be big enough to admit that they sort of shoved her aside, especially when she has already gone to each of them individually and apologized for having hurt feelings toward them, but it seems that will never happen. I guess some people just don't possess the humility to admit when they are wrong or to realize when they've hurt someone's feelings.
I'm thrilled to know that our congregation has passed this important measure and that at least the children growing up within the safe walls of these Unitarian Churches who actively Welcome and reach out to the GLBT Community, will come to learn and have a better appreciation and compassion for people who are diverse. It was interesting to note that there were several sets of parents who chose to join a Unitarian Universalist Church for this very reason, so that their children would be more open minded. Many applause to those parents!!!!
I don't know what else to say about this topic, just that i'm very happy...your turn now.