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How to Apply for Official Recognition as a Welcoming Congregation


In order for a congregation to be recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) as a Welcoming Congregation, it must go through a Welcoming Congregation Program (learn how to run the program).

The requirements for recognition as a Welcoming Congregation are:

  1. Measurable achievements in the areas of education, congregational life, and community outreach, using the Welcoming Congregation Guidelines and Action Steps as a guide.
  2. A congregational vote in affirmation of being recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Welcoming Congregation.*

Applying for Recognition

When your congregation has met the above requirements, any representative of the congregation may send the office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Ministries (LGBTQ Ministries) the following information:

  • Name of congregation and mailing address
  • Name, phone number, and email address of the person submitting the application
  • Date and results of congregational vote
  • A summary of the work done in service of becoming more welcoming to sexual and gender minorities, using the Action Steps as a guide and including:

    • A description and summary of your educational work
    • Additional programming your congregation has offered
    • Plans for continuing this work into the future
    • Any supporting materials you’d like to include

Send your application to: lgbtq [at] uua [dot] org. Please allow one month for review.

*Note: LGBTQ Ministries sometimes hears of resistance to the idea of voting on whether or not to welcome sexual and gender minorities. This is not what is being asked of you. Your congregational vote should simply be a vote on whether to be publicly recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Welcoming Congregation.

Celebrating Your Welcoming Status

Once your congregation is recognized by the UUA as a Welcoming Congregation, LGBTQ Ministries will send you an official letter of recognition and two posters that celebrate your Welcoming status. Congregations are encouraged to develop their own additional artwork, banners, plaques, and the like that further lift up their welcome.

Your congregation will also be recognized on the UUA website: a rainbow chalice will appear next to your name and you will show up in searches for Welcoming Congregations in your area using our Find a Congregation tool. Please celebrate your status on your own website as well!

And at General Assembly, members of your congregation will be entitled to a Welcoming Congregation name badge ribbon. Some congregations like to make small rainbow stickers available to members for use on their congregational name badges. You can order such stickers online at stores such as Over the Rainbow Shop.

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