52 Ways to Expand Your Welcome to LGBTQ+ People and Our Families

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The 52 Ways to Expand Your Welcome to LGBTQ+ People and Our Families Series

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

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

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?

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 #37: Increase LGBTQ Visibility Throughout the Year!

While it is important to recognize and affirm key dates and events within the LGBTQ community, your welcome is even greater if you do not limit LGBTQ visibility to those times.  LGBTQ people and their families who come to your worship services, teachings or programs will notice the presence of others who are like them. […]

52 Ways #31: Recognize the Discrimination that LGBTQ People Face

Did you know that half of LGBTQ people in this country live in states where there are no protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity? Many people think such discrimination is already illegal, but only 21 states and the District of Columbia ban discrimination in employment and housing; one other state, Wisconsin, […]

52 Ways #30: Celebrate & Include Transgender People!

Your congregation may have made the decision to welcome people of all sexual orientations before there was a significant awareness about including gender identity. You may have already talked about and worked on including gay, lesbian and bisexual people, but not transgender people.  Now is a great time to revisit those conversations and expand your […]

52 Ways #24: Restrooms Available for All!

Let’s face it: everyone needs to use the restroom.  You can make your congregation more welcoming by providing non-gendered restroom spaces. These make an important statement about your openness to transgender and gender non-conforming people. Studies have shown that transgender people face significant harassment and violence in public restrooms; you can counter that by providing […]