Introducing the Radical Welcome Advisory Team
Last year the Transforming Hearts Collective was excited to announce the beginnings of plans to create a pilot program for congregations that want to take their “welcome” to the next level. We are thrilled to share that these plans are progressing and, because it matters that this work be engaged in an accountable way and not in isolation, we are now supported by an Advisory Team that will be lending their expertise, gifts, and perspectives to this effort!
Minister Candace Simpson is a sister, preacher and educator. It is Candace's philosophy that Heaven is a Revolution that can happen right here on Earth.
Rev. Theresa I. Soto is a Unitarian Universalist minister and liberation worker. They live in Ashland, Oregon, and aspire to building new futures of unprecedented equity. They like kale and gummi bears, but probably not together. They strongly dislike mayonnaise from jars.
I’m Rev. Dr. Marni Harmony. I’m now retired after 40 years in Unitarian Universalist ministry, which was mostly parish ministry but I have also served as a hospital chaplain and then a couple of interim ministry positions after my last settled ministry.
I'm Kim Sweeney, queer mother of two teenagers with a background in education, faith formation, and organizational change. I live in western Massachusetts and I'm excited to work with this rockstar group of people.
I’m Dani Henri and I live in Portland, Oregon. I am a musician and songwriter. I am also a disabled trans gay man. I also do work at the intersection of queerness, sex, and disability. I work in retail and social media in the adult industry. Samples of my work on queerness and disability can be found here.
Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong is a gay cis-male in his 40s living the LA life after a stint in Honolulu and currently serves the UUA as Congregational Life Staff in the Pacific Western Region. Originally ordained with the Metropolitan Community Church, he’s done parish, community, and now institutional ministry. Here’s his website if you want to know more!
Building on the successes and failures of the UUA’s Welcoming Congregation Program, which three-quarters of Unitarian Universalist congregations have used over the last 28 years to expand their understanding and welcome of LGBTQ people and which became a model for similar programs in other denominations, our goal is to create a program that will help faith communities truly take things to the next level (within and beyond Unitarian Universalism).
We want to help congregations believe in the possibility of transforming their culture around “welcome,” difference, the purpose of spiritual community, marginalized experiences (particularly sexuality, gender, race/ethnicity, class, and ability), and social justice. We plan to create a program that is intersectional, heart-centered, spiritually grounded, up-to-date with respect to LGBTQ identity, flexible and custom-fit, and transformational.
If you’re interested in staying tuned in about our progress, sign up to stay in touch below, in the footer of the website. And if your congregation is dedicated to transformation and interested in being a part of the pilot program, please contact us!