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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County

Welcoming Congregation

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   Rev. Darcy Baxter


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A liberal religious voice in the Central Valley since 1953.


What is the Welcoming Congregation?

Welcoming Congregation chalice The Welcoming Congregation Program is a completely volunteer program for congregations who feel a need to become more inclusive towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer or Intersexed (LGBTQI) people. It consists of a series of workshops developed by the UUA. The goal of the workshops is to reduce prejudice by increasing understanding and acceptance among people of different sexual orientations. Some workshop titles:

  • How Homophobia Hurts Heterosexuals
  • Connections to Other Forms of Oppression
  • Gender Socialization and Homophobia
  • Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality

Many congregations offer the workshop series several consecutive times as an adult religious education curriculum open to all members and friends. Some congregations [Ours was one] form a Welcoming Congregation Task Force to sponsor the workshop series (and later the entire program). Other congregations sponsor the workshop series through their Interweave chapters. In either case, those who have experienced the curriculum make the best workshop leaders.

The UUFSC became an official Welcoming Congregation in June 2006.

What do we do if we are a Welcoming Congregation?

  • Include and address the needs of LGBTQI persons at every level of congregational life - in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in rites of passage - welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.

  • Assume the presence of LGBTQI people and celebrates this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.

  • Incorporate the experiences of LGBTQI persons throughout all programs, including religious education.

  • Include an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in our by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.

  • Engage in outreach into the LGBTQI community in its advertising and by actively supporting LGBTQI affirmative groups.

  • Offer congregational and ministerial support for union and memorial services for LGBTQI persons, and for celebrations of family definitions.

  • Celebrate the lives of all people and welcomes same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affections without regard to sexual orientation.

  • Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.

  • Affirm and celebrates LGBTQI issues and history during the church year.

  • Attend to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.

  • Speak out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.

  • Celebrate the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.

Read more, on the UUA site.

Credit: We copied all of this from the UUA Welcoming Congregation pages, above.
[We did change some passive voice to active.]
[Our Welcoming Congregation task force asked us to change "GLBT" to "LGBTQI".]

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County

2172 Kiernan Avenue
Modesto, California     See a map
(209) 545-1837

We have no mail service on Kiernan; please use:
PO Box 1000
Salida, CA 95368

Questions about our fellowship? Go to our Staff Page for all the e-mail addresses you'll need.
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We are a liberal church and the only UU congregation in Stanislaus county. We serve Ceres, Denair, Escalon, Hickman, Hughson, Keyes, Manteca, Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, Ripon, Riverbank, Salida, Turlock and Waterford. We welcome Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Deists, Free-thinkers, Humanists, Jews, Pagans, Theists, Wiccans, and those who seek their own spiritual path. We welcome people without regard to race, physical ability, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Page updated: July 01, 2015