Welcoming Congregation: A Time for Renewal

Cedars is beginning a journey, and we would like you to be a part of it! We have been officially designated as a Welcoming Congregation for ten years. In the words of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) that means that we “take intentional steps to be more welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.” What does that mean specifically, and how are we doing it?

On January 20, 2002, during a congregational meeting, Cedars voted to become a Welcoming Congregation. After undertaking the training, the UUA recognized our designation in April 2004. In the resolution, we committed to being “inclusive and expressive of the concerns of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons at every level of congregational life.” After ten years, it is time for us to examine our commitment and the depth of our actions. What does it mean to be Welcoming in our day-to-day activities, in our programs, and in our congregational infrastructure?

The UUA now has a program for congregations to officially renew their Welcoming Congregation designation. This involves both assessing what we have done since our designation, and identifying opportunities to deepen and broaden our welcome, especially in areas such as transgender identity. The UUA provides guidelines for moving beyond our initial designation and for developing skills to put our commitments into action.

A team of five Cedars members is planning our renewal effort: Scot Hedrick, Jan Mulder, Jill Quick, Becky Walsh, and Channie Peters. We are planning a series of 10 workshops to explore these issues; the workshops are tentatively planned for Sunday afternoons at the Cedars Center. More details will follow as plans are finalized. We encourage you to consider participating. Do not be concerned if you cannot attend all ten workshops; any level of participation is welcome and will enhance our journey.

Please let any of the above team members know if you would like to join us or if you would like more information about the program.