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Northlake UU Church becomes a Welcoming Congregation
Northlake UU Church becomes a Welcoming Congregation
Immediately following its July 13 service, the members in attendance at Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church unanimously voted to become a Welcoming Congregation. The Welcoming Congregation program is a volunteer program initiated in 1989 for Unitarian Universalist congregations that see a need to become more inclusive towards Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and/or Transgender people. In order to qualify, a congregation must participate in a series of workshops developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The major goal of these workshops is to reduce prejudice by increasing understanding and acceptance among people of different sexual orientations.

The first principle that UU congregations covenant to affirm and promote is "the inherent worth and dignity of every person." Pursuing the Welcoming Congregation program is in keeping with this principle. Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church wholeheartedly supports this view and wants to proclaim to the community that it celebrates the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other. However, the path to becoming a Welcoming Congregation has not been without challenges. Northlake purchased a rainbow flag, a common symbol of the Gay community, to be flown from its flagpole. On May 13, it disappeared. A replacement flag was purchased. The second flag was also stolen, and the Kirkland Police Department was informed after each instance. The vandalism has not deterred the congregation from its course. More flags have been purchased and will be flown again once a more secure method has been established.

The workshop series was completed earlier this year. Although there are a few steps that remain to be done, Northlake is well on its way to becoming a Welcoming Congregation and should receive official status by the end of the summer. Once official status is recognized by the UUA, Northlake will be able to open its doors as a safe space for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people and to accomplish outreach.

Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church (NUUC) has been holding services since 1961 in Kirkland. NUUC currently has over 100 members. This small church is making a big difference on the Eastside with an active Social Justice committee and many other valuable programs for adults and youth. For more information, please visit www.northlakeuu.org

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) was formed in 1961 through the consolidation of the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. Today the UUA is a faith community of more than 1000 congregations that support each other and bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance, and social justice. For more information, please go to www.uua.org.

A Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church press release

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