First Parish is proud to be a Welcoming Congregation. We welcome and celebrate the presence and participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in all parts of our congregation. In our mission statement, we proclaim that we are "a liberal church that seeks to recognize and support the worth and dignity of every human being, to embrace an evolving faith in harmony with reason, to comfort and encourage people in their times of sorrow and need, and to help its members live out their values in their daily lives." We try to live out this mission through our caring and respectful behavior toward one another in all aspects of congregational life.
What is the Welcoming Congregation Program?
In 1987 the Unitarian Universalist Association established the Common Vision Planning Committee. This committee found many negative attitudes, deep prejudices, and profound ignorance about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people, which resulted in the exclusion of many people from their churches. As a result of these findings, the delegates of the 1989 UUA General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to initiate the Welcoming Congregation program to educate its members. Each congregation adapts the program to best meet its goals and each unique situation can bring positive changes to individuals and congregations.
The Welcoming Congregation Program at First Parish in Lexington
The First Parish Welcoming Congregation Team provides educational opportunities within our church community several times a year for adults. We work with our religious education program to integrate intentional welcoming and education around GLBT issues into the curriculum. We take action to educate our community and support GLBT people, those who love them and all who are hurt by homophobia in our town.
Taking our Values Into Our Community
Through our participation in Lexington's Respecting Differences Coalition. and in partnership with anti-hate groups and the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Coalition, UUs from First Parish live out our commitment to support equality and end discrimination and harassment. Members of First Parish also engage in public witness and advocacy at the regional and state level in actions such as letter writing, legislative lobbying, and annual participation in the Boston Pride Parade.
For more information about the Welcoming Congregation program at First Parish, contact