We Are a Welcoming Congregation
In May of 1998, following a year of study and reflection led by a Welcoming Congregation Task Force the UU Church of Nashua, at a called Congregational Meeting voted to become a Welcoming Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The Welcoming Congregation Program is a volunteer program offered to UU congregations through the UUA's Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns. It is for UU religious communities who wish to take steps to become intentionally inclusive toward bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender persons. The program was initiated in 1987 by our Association's Common Vision Planning Committee.
For a full overview of this program at the denominational level see www.uua.org/leaders/idbm/lgbt/welcomingcongregation.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua is now one of 441 UU congregations in the United States (April, 2005) who have completed this program and are officially on record as a UUA Welcoming Congregation. By this action, we are saying that we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all persons, and that this affirmation clearly extends to those whose sexual orientation is gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Our commitment as a Welcoming Congregation is shown in a variety of ways, both within the life of our liberal religious community and in our outreach to the larger Nashua area community.
Within the congregation:
- Our human sexuality program, Our Whole Lives, that is offered to our junior high age young persons, addresses, in a positive manner, both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, and explores how one lives responsibly in both.
- Same-sex couples are welcomed into the membership of our congregation as couples.
- Children of same-sex couples are welcomed in our Dedication and Naming ceremonies in the same manner as children of heterosexual couples.
- Our minister officiates Services of Holy Union for same-sex couples, both those who are members of the congregation and those from the wider community.
In the Nashua area we provide meeting space for:
- Nashua Outright for their Board meetings and their youth support group.
- Southern New Hampshire Area Pride (SNAP).
- A weekly Twelve-Step AA Recovery Group primarily for gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons.
- The monthly meeting of Women Meeting Women.
- We host two performances annually of the New Hampshire Gay Men's Chorus.
- Our minister has been a public advocate for the full legalization of same-sex marriage in the State of New Hampshire.
While we keep no "official tally" of such things, demographically speaking, the make-up of our congregation probably approximates that of the population at large when it comes to the ratio of heterosexual persons to gay/lesbian/bisexual persons. Within the life of our congregation we strive to reflect our vision of how the larger society would look and behave if the lives of non-heterosexual persons were welcomed, valued, and affirmed at all levels of societal life.