Coalition of Welcoming Congregations

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52 Ways #51: Send them Back to School with Your Blessings

by Bernard Schlager

As the summer draws to a close and school starts up again, your support for LGBTQ youth, parents, and teachers can make a big difference. We hope that going back to school – safely and in person, when possible – will be a positive opportunity for growth and learning for everyone; yet this is often […]

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 #44: Create a Genuine Welcome for Your LGBTQ Congregants

by Bernard Schlager

Everyone can distinguish a genuine welcome from one that is half-hearted and it is not difficult for LGBTQ people to realize whether they are welcomed or not in a particular congregation. Merely posting a welcome sign or publishing a statement of acceptance does not prove, of course, that a congregation is actually welcoming and inclusive. […]

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 […]