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UUCSC is currently renewing our status as a Welcoming Congregation to ensure that we are living our principles, especially in relation to the LGBTQ+ community.

Here you will learn about the steps we are taking in the renewal program and discover important information about how our congregation can become more welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

The Welcoming Congregation Committee (WCC) has already initiated several programs to help us along this journey:
1. Focus Groups to encourage discussion and clarification of ideas about the LGBTQ+ community.
2. Three-minute presentations at the beginning of worship services to share information about language and attitudes.
3. Transforming Hearts Collective Videos. A series of six video sessions. Each session will include a 45- to 60-minute lecture by Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan, reflection questions, and resources to take the conversation deeper.

Schedule is pending due to the pandemic. We will announce when they will be resumed.
The six videos in the series will be shown at 11:30 AM in the UUCSC Sanctuary on: February 23, March 22, April 26, May 31, July 19, and August 23. A detailed description of each video is included below.  For more information, please contact Barbara Allen, Chair, Welcoming Congregation Committee, bawildrose@gmail.com.


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Session 1.  Introduction to Beloved Community: Welcome as a Spiritual Practice, February 23, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll get grounded in a Beloved Community approach to welcome, reflect on your personal experiences of inclusion vs. exclusion, and envision what practicing Beloved Community in a congregational setting looks like.

Session 1 Resources

  1. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of Beloved Community, as summarized by the King Center.
  2. After reading the resource above, read the beginning of the same page: King’s “Triple Evils,” “Six Principles of Nonviolence,” and “Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change.”
  3. The Welcoming Congregation,” a 2013 sermon by Alex.
  4. Slides from “Another Paradigm for Activism: Beloved Community,” by Hilary Allen, Meck Groot, and Rev. Deborah Holder for Be the Love.
  5. The Spiritual Practice of Hospitality” by David Rynick, UU World.
  6. Religious Community is Not Enough” by Rev. Tom Schade, UU World.

Schedule is pending due to the pandemic. We will announce when they will be resumed.
Session 2.
Gender and Our Faith Community, March 22, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll review the origins and impacts of gender binary roles and how they uphold patriarchy, explore gender roles and patriarchy within organized religion in historic and present-day contexts, and reflect on the faith grounding for how people of faith are called to dismantle gender-based oppression.

Session 2 Resources

  1. What Is Patriarchy (And How Does It Hurt Us All)?” a 5-minute Everyday Feminism video.
  2. Delusions of Gender’: The Bad Science of Brain Sexism,” an interview with Cordelia Fine, Salon.
  3. Target will stop labeling toys for boys or for girls. Good.” by Rebecca Hains, The Washington Post.
  4. With Principle and Spirit: Women, Feminism, and Unitarian Universalism,” a sermon by Rev. Tim Temerson. (Bonus resource: An excellent but longer piece if you have time is “The Feminization of the Unitarian Universalist Clergy” by Rev. Dawn Sangrey.)
  5. From Eve to to Hillary,” a sermon by Rev. Erin J. Walter

Session 3. Unpacking the Gender Binary, April 26, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll learn about the different dimensions of gender (biology, expression, and identity), explore the incredible diversity of experience within these dimensions, and reflect on how your own experience of gender aligns or does not align with the gender binary.

Session 4. Trans Experience and Spirituality, May 31, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll learn the risk factors involved in being transgender and the ways that race, class, age, ability, and more impact trans experience; learn about the role of spirituality in trans lives and the experiences of trans people in congregations; and explore the many spiritual gifts of trans people.

Session 5. The Role of Culture in Trans Exclusion, July 19, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll gain an understanding of the iceberg model of culture, explore the characteristics of mainstream culture, and learn how cultural differences between trans culture and mainstream culture contribute to trans exclusion in congregations.

Session 6. Creating Culture Shift, August 23, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
In this session you'll learn tools and practices for congregational culture shift, brainstorm next steps for creating trans-affirming culture shift in your congregation or faith group, and find out about additional resources that can support you in your next steps.

Three-Minute Presentations

November 3, 2019: What do the letters mean?

The letters LGBTQIA2S +++ can be confusing. Barbara Allen explains what they mean.

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November 17, 2019: What do the terms mean?

Some terms may not be familiar to you. Barbara Allen explains the meaning of the terms "gender queer," "non-binary," and "gender fluid."

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February 9, 2020: Valentine’s Day: A Contentious Holiday?

Jolly Hollamon offers suggestions for ways to celebrate what can be a difficult day for many folks.

Jolly Hollamon Valentine's Day