In August 2009, congregational members and friends of Sky Island Unitarian Universalist Church began the process of becoming a Welcoming Congregation. At least 59 individuals attended one or more of the 14 workshops held between August 2009 and March 2010. The workshops are included in a program developed and offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and is designed to heighten awareness of issues and concerns faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) individuals, and to expand a congregation’s awareness of how to become intentionally inclusive and welcoming to individuals with marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities.
In March 2010, the congregation concluded the Welcoming Congregation program and, at the annual meeting in April 2010 voted unanimously at the Annual Meeting to apply for official recognition by the UUA as a Welcoming Congregation. That recognition came in June 2010, and this congregation gladly proclaims itself as welcoming to all, without regard for race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a Welcoming Congregation we have pledged to:
• honor the lives of all people and equally affirm displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.
• celebrate diversity by using inclusive language and content in worship.
• incorporate an understanding of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons throughout all of our programs, including religious education.
• affirm and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history.
• affirm marriage equality and conduct same-sex weddings.
• advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, promoting justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. We speak out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are at stake.
We recognize that there’s always something more to learn, and remain open to deepening our understanding about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.