Welcoming Congregation Declaration

Adopted April 27, 1997
Amended April 29, 1999

In keeping with our covenant which asks us:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love, and
To help one another

And in accord with Unitarian Universalist principles in which member congregations covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person,
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations,
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, and
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

We, the Unitarian Universalist Church, Lafayette, Indiana declare ourselves to be a Welcoming Congregation.

A Welcoming Congregation is a religious community that welcomes and accepts people who are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual; that strives to be a safe and affirming environment for those among us who are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual; that ensures all areas of congregational life are open and inclusive; and, that commits itself to work for the rights and dignity of gay, lesbian, trandsgendered or bisexual people in the larger community.

As a Welcoming Congregation we will implement and maintain the following guidelines:

Safe and affirming environment

Members and friends are encouraged:

  • To engage in ongoing dialogues about sexual orientation issues in order to develop deeper understanding and trust,
  • To not tolerate derogatory remarks towards gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual persons,
  • To be aware of their assumptions about another’s sexual orientation,
  • To become more accepting of affectionate and caring expressions between people, regardless of sexual orientation,
  • To talk to those who are possibly uninformed about sexual orientation issues or less exposed to gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual persons and, therefore, may have strong reservations about our being a Welcoming Congregation.

Religious education leaders are asked to create an atmosphere in which youth who are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual feel safe and feel free to discuss their concerns.

A Rainbow Banner is displayed to symbolize gay pride, diversity, and the acceptance of people of all sexual orientations.

Open and inclusive congregational life

  • Religious ceremonies are provided without regard to the sexual orientation of the participants.
  • Social events and activities are organized to accept and be respectful of people of all sexual orientations.
  • Religious education programming for children, youth, and adults inclusively addresses issues relating to human sexuality and sexual orientation, in an age-appropriate manner.
  • Church leaders, including the Minister, religious education staff, and volunteer teachers, are chosen without regard to sexual orientation.
  • Worship services are designed to be reflective of the concerns of people of all sexual orientations.

Work for rights and dignity in the larger community

  • The congregation engages in affirmative outreach to people who are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual.
  • The congregation actively publicizes to the larger community that we are a Welcoming Congregation.
  • The congregation is educated and prepared on how to respond to possible negative publicity.
  • Friends, members, and groups within the congregation will speak out against homophobia and for compassion in human relations.