Coalition of Welcoming Congregations

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52 Ways #49: Create Inclusive Space and Celebrate Inclusive Rituals

by Bernard Schlager

Create Inclusive Space Congregational space can be exclusive space especially with regard to transgender individuals. For instance, most congregations still do not provide all-gender restroom facilities and this omission can be a considerable barrier for transgender persons who belong, attend, or visit your congregation. Providing at least one accessible all-gender restroom is an important sign […]

52 Ways #48: Integrate LGBTQ People into the Life of Your Congregation

by Bernard Schlager

Once a congregation has publicly declared its welcome, it needs to work toward including and integrating queer people more fully in all aspects of congregational life. Since a community of care assumes, accepts, and celebrates the presence of queer people within its midst, the day-to-day life of the congregation should reflect this. Renovating congregational life […]

52 Ways #47: A Genuine Welcome is a Transforming Welcome

by Bernard Schlager

By genuinely welcoming and integrating LGBTQ people into a congregation all members can experience transformation. When individuals who once were unwelcome and perhaps even unnamed are brought into a community of faith, new perspectives are gained on what it means to live as people of faith. When individuals who have been marginalized for so long […]

52 Ways #45: A Genuine Welcome is an Educated Welcome

by CLGSAdminy1

A congregation interested in becoming a community of care should begin with education and compassionate dialogue. The leaders and members of a church or synagogue will need to educate themselves about sexual orientation, gender identity, and the most genuine and effective ways to integrate LGBTQ people into the life of the congregation. Throughout this process […]

52 Ways #43: Create a Community of Care for Your LGBTQ Congregants I: What is Welcome?

by Bernard Schlager

Baptist minister Jacki Belile recommends a three-fold task for congregations seeking to welcome LGBTQ people: “Take into account the depth of people’s betrayal and pain at the hands of the institutional church in all the dimensions of fellowship, preaching, teaching, and pastoral care”; Offer “significant opportunities for LGBT people to have visibility, voice and leadership […]

52 Ways #41: Be Visible at Pride

by CLGSAdminy1

Pride festivals—held in many towns and cities across the country—are a fantastic way to reach out to LGBTQ people and our allies and let people know about your inclusive stance. It is also an important witness that people of faith can be accepting and supportive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Your […]

52 Ways #40: Celebrate Pride!

by CLGSAdminy1

Many of us have shown our inclusive faith by participating in Pride parades around the country. This is critical to counteract the ongoing fallacy that all, or even most, people of faith stand in opposition to LGBTQ rights. Religious groups who protest Pride celebrations alienate many of the attendees and can even re-awaken the pain […]

52 Ways #39: Support Banned and Challenged Books

by Bernard Schlager

If you visit American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 and 2020, you will notice that a large percentage of them were targeted because they include positive portrayals of LGBTQ people.  When these books are removed or not included in libraries—particularly public and school libraries—people lose access to useful and affirming information […]

52 Ways #38: Highlight LGBTQ Religious History

by Bernard Schlager

Any time of the year is a good time to talk about the fact that religious people have been advocating for LGBTQ inclusion for quite a while and, as we approach June, the month of LGBTQ Pride, now offers you a great opportunity to investigate the movement for LGBTQ equality within your tradition. You can […]