Growing out of a call to support faith communities in becoming places where queer and trans people of all races/ethnicities, abilities, classes, and ages can get their spiritual needs met, the Transforming Hearts Collective is working on a pilot program for congregations that want to take their “welcome” to the next level.
Rather than treating aspects of identity separately, this program will integrate sexuality, gender, race/ethnicity, ability, class, age, and more, grounded in the experiences and needs of people with multiple marginalized identities.
“Diversity and inclusion” work often focuses on intellectual learning rather than engaging our hearts with how oppression keeps us all from being our authentic selves. This program will center compassion, care, and love.
Rather than a “one-and-done” curriculum, this program will engage a congregation’s full membership and leadership; reach every area, including worship, religious education, and social action; and establish practices for ongoing growth and change.
One of the flaws of curriculum-based programs is they don’t work the same way in congregations of varying sizes, resources, demographics, and locations. This program will allow each congregation to have a custom-fit experience.
Understandings of gender and sexuality are evolving at high speed, and many faith communities are decades behind. This program will stay up-to-date and push participants to engage with modern understandings of identity.
Practicing radical welcome is a way of practicing Beloved Community. Our call to engage with difference differently has deep, spiritual roots. This program will ground folks in their faith and offer tools and spiritual practices for the work of welcome.
Rev. Mykal Slack
Zr. Alex Kapitan
Rev. Theresa I. Soto
Rev. Dr. Marni Harmony
Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong
Building on the successes and failures of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Welcoming Congregation Program, which three-quarters of UU congregations have used over the last three decades to expand their understanding and welcome of LGBTQ people, and which became a model for similar programs in other denominations, the program we are developing will help faith communities truly take things to the next level, within and beyond Unitarian Universalism.
We want to help congregations be forces for liberation for all, both inside and outside our congregational walls, and embrace the opportunity to practice, together, what it would be like to inhabit a world where all of life lives in right relationship. We want to help you transform your heart, and your practice of faith.
Is your congregation eager to move forward in your journey of radical welcome and transformation? Here are three ways to get involved!
1. Join our mailing list for updates on the pilot program by entering your email address in the red box below.
2. Make a donation to support the pilot program’s development.
3. Take our online course, Transgender Inclusion in Congregations. This course offers a taste of the approach we are exploring for the pilot program, focused on trans communities.
Note: The collage that appears at the top of this page features the art and words of many incredible people, including Annie Segarra, Assata Shakur, Audre Lorde, Beatriz Aurora, Christy C. Road, Frank Houtkamp, Frida Kahlo, Gandhi, @gnightirene, Kehinde Wiley, Keith Haring, Micah Bazant, Noé Two, Ricardo Levins Morales, Thich Nhat Hanh, the Trans Justice Funding Project, and UU_art_painter. Please consider supporting/following these artists and purchasing their work.