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 […]
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 […]
The Umoja Project is designed to facilitate safe, non-threatening dialogue about the diversity of human sexuality and the tension that sometimes exists within African-American faith communities in relation to LGBT individuals. Film and group discussion will help all participants (regardless of their position on this topic) explore the social and emotional impact of the exclusion those who want to be a part of the church community, but do not feel welcomed.
LGBTQ people understand from years of experience that they are unwelcome in most congregations. Since our culture is saturated with the anti-queer rhetoric of religious leaders who claim to represent the only authentic Jewish and Christian positions on homosexuality, a congregation that seeks to become welcoming needs to state clearly and publicly its welcome in […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]