The Welcoming Congregation Program

In the 1980s and 90s, when the word “welcoming” became a code word for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, the Unitarian Universalist Association launched a Welcoming Congregation Program to help us learn how to undo homophobia—and later, transphobia (prejudice against transgender people)—in our hearts and minds, our congregations, and our communities.

Today, most Unitarian Universalist congregations are recognized Welcoming Congregations. The spiritual practice of welcome is a very important one to our faith community.

UUCSC is 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 UUCSC Congregation is dedicated to learning more about LGBTQ+ issues in order to become a more welcoming congregation.  We are in the process of renewing our UUA “Welcoming Congregation" certification.

The Welcoming Congregation Committee (WCC) has 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 Modules online via Zoom.

Below is our full schedule. You have a choice of participating on a Sunday morning after our Sunday service, or an evening during the week at 7:00 PM. Each module is about 45 -60 minutes in length, and we will devote another half hour to discussion and processing what we have learned.

For more information, contact Barbara Allen, bawildrose@gmail.com

Module Schedule

Module 6. Creating Culture Shift
Thur., Nov. 19, 7:00 PM
Zoom meeting:
Sun., Nov. 22, 11:15 AM
Zoom meeting link is same as the Sunday service:

In this session we will 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.

Module 6 Resources

  1. "Moving from Inviting to Inclusion to Radical Welcome" by Stephanie Spellers (PDF).
  2. "Welcome as a Spiritual Practice," a 2017 sermon by Alex.
  3. "Invitation vs. Inclusion vs. Radical Welcome of Trans People in Congregations" by Alex Kapitan, Mykal Slack, and Teo Drake (PDF).
  4. "Experiences of Trans Unitarian Universalists: Report on the 2018 Survey of Trans UUs" from TRUUsT.
  5. Bulls-eye worksheet (PDF).
  6. "Chapter 4: Getting Pronouns Right and What It Teaches Us About Gender" from the book Trans Allyship Workbook by Davey Shlasko (PDF). Full book available from Think Again.

Each participant is encouraged to complete our Evaluation following this module.

Three-Minute Presentations

November 3, 2019: What do the letters mean?

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


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."


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