Exterior of church with rainbow flag.
Photo by Sally Armstrong – As a highly visible sign of welcome to the LGBTQ community, a rainbow flag hangs in front of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier on a beautiful summer day.

The Unitarian Church of Montpelier (UCM) is a “Welcoming Congregation,” which indicates that our church community aims to be fully inclusive of individuals who are LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, etc.) This is a designation that was awarded by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) after a multi-year process, culminating for our congregation in an application submitted in 2013. It is now time for us to re-certify, in order to maintain our designation!

Over the past eight years, our Welcoming Congregation Committee, working with church staff, members, friends, and the broader community, has done many things to advocate for greater understanding and awareness of the issues facing LGBTQIA+ individuals in our community, including:

  • organized Sunday Worship Services, addressing LGBTQIA+ issues, every other year (click here to access past services)
  • set up a table, book shelf, and bulletin board, with committee member(s) present to welcome questions and conversations, during in-person Sunday morning Coffee Hours
  • created and maintained a lending library, with books including LGBTQIA+ themes, for adults and children 
  • co-sponsored and publicized regular film showings and book & film discussion events, in collaboration with Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library
  • offered workshops led by trained facilitators
  • promoted and arranged/offered space with trained facilitators for “Friday Night Group” for teens, in collaboration with Outright Vermont
  • recruited participants for Pride Parades in Burlington, VT
  • hosted a gathering of UUs from Northern New England churches which are also ‘Welcoming Congregations’
  • advocated for transitioning to gender-neutral, inclusive restrooms & restroom signage throughout our UCM building

Please feel free to share your comments & thoughts about these efforts, and to suggest additional ways we can continue to be even more inclusive and welcoming to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, by contacting our current committee members:

Current members of our Welcoming Congregation Committee (2021) include: Elaine Ball (she/her); Phil Morse (he/him); Ellie Peters (she/her); Verdis L. Robinson (he/him); Lindsay Wade (she/her); and Ruth Witte (she/her), Acting Chair.

Please also contact Ruth Witte for details about joining and/or participating in our Welcoming Congregation Committee, including with any questions or ideas about upcoming meeting dates & times!

Thank you!

From ‘Our History:

Welcoming Congregation

UCM was first recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 2013 as a “Welcoming Congregation.” The designation was and continues to be an acknowledgment of several years’ work and an ongoing commitment to welcome members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.