The Rainbow Umbrella started in 2021 as a place for all things LGBTQ+ at FUUSN, recruiting a team that was dedicated to covering the basics of LGBTQ education and support, especially FUUSN’s participation in the Boston Pride parade.
We’ve embraced responsibility for FUUSN’s observation of The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal, the new UUA guidelines for Welcoming Congregations:
- Become a Welcoming Congregation
Becoming a Welcoming Congregation is the expectation of every Unitarian Universalist congregation. While over 800 congregations are currently “approved,” the nearly 300 congregations that are not are encouraged to fulfill the original objectives of the Welcoming Congregations application.
The second Practice of Welcome Renewal is incorporating Welcoming Worship Services into our ordinary calendar of worship every year. These services might occur during LGBTQ+ Pride Month or any other day of observance. An LGBTQ marriage ceremony, naming ritual, or remembrance ceremony may also fulfill this objective. Attention to binary language in music and readings has increased in the community (and not just the musicians).
- Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony led by Parisa (11/19/23)
- Trans Day of Visibility honored by Jim Scott in worship (3/30/2023)
- Days of Observance shared on Facebook by Jacki Rohan and the listserv by Linda Ross – The third Practice of Welcome Renewal is an annual recognition and celebration of the Welcoming Days of Observance. These days and seasons are important to LGBTQ+ / TGQNB communities because they bring visibility and affirmation after generations of invisibility and erasure. These days remind all that “All of who you are is sacred. All of who you are is welcome.”
- Religious Education
The fourth Practice of Welcome Renewal is an annual opportunity for your congregation to experience a Welcoming Congregation Module. A WC module is a UUA approved seminar / webinar. Each year the UUA LGBTQ program office will offer at least one Welcoming Webinar engaging LGBTQ+ / TGQNB issues and topics. Welcoming Congregations may register for a webinar or may choose to sponsor a local seminar for its local congregation and community.
- Support a Welcoming Project
Welcoming Congregations (WCs) are congregations that give generously of our gifts and resources. To remain current, WCs may donate a sizable donation to a local and national organization, campaign, or project that uplifts the dignity of LGBTQ+ / TGQNB communities. This year we decided to donate half of our committee budget to Boston Pride.
In addition to maintaining this checklist, we have many ideas for movies, book discussions, more worship services, stories for all ages and other educational programs. We will continue awareness of Observance Days and start earlier in the year to form a group to join the Boston Pride parade next year.
We have recruited younger folx with new ideas, and reached out to bring former WC members back on the team. The team started with 3 members at the beginning of June 2021, kicked off that church year with 15 members, and has 33 at this time.
Join us! Our Team Rules are simple: Sign up for the emails, read the emails, volunteer when you can, share your ideas, no meetings, no pressure. To join, email the Rainbow Umbrella team.