Greetings Friends and Colleagues,

We would like to invite Open & Affirming Congregations of the Bay Area to participate in a first-of-its-kind research project on Open and Affirming faith communities who have made a commitment to affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and welcome them fully into your congregation and ministry.

Through the generosity of the Atkinson Foundation, the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) has received a grant that will be used to develop a resource for affirming/reconciling congregations and faith communities like yours. The goal of this resource is to expand the capacity of communities and individuals to make lasting social change for LGBTQ people and beyond—particularly related to the issues of race, gender, economics, and culture. We will provide concrete information and practical examples of ministries which address issues like youth homelessness, aging, refugees and asylees, and access to housing.

But first, we need to conduct some research to see what is of the greatest need and interest to local communities; your input is critical in helping us with this task.

The survey in the link below is designed to provide us with insights regarding your demographics, current programming and goals related to LGBTQ people, your needs and concerns, and your hopes and dreams for your congregation’s/faith community’s outreach and commitments.

<<Complete Open & Affirming Survey>>

By analyzing your responses, we will develop a resource guide that addresses both the needs expressed by survey participants and broader issues of social justice. This resource guide will include spiritually oriented programs, social services information, and political advocacy models that can be used to provide concrete encouragement and guidance to other groups who want to expand their programming into other areas.

Once it is published, we will provide a copy to you at no charge.

Would you please take a few minutes to respond to the survey within the next two weeks? As a modest expression of our gratitude, every responder will receive a small token from CLGS. We will also draw from among the responders and select three who will receive a set of CLGS books which includes Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk, by David J. Kundtz and Bernard S. Schlager; God Comes Out: A Queer Homiletic, by Olive Elaine Hinnant; Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry, and Communities of Faith, by Dr. Justin Tanis; and Qu(e)erying Evangelism: Growing a Community From the Outside In, by Cheri Dinovo.

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to contact me directly—by email or calling me at

Very best regards

Todd Whitley
Program Associate
Coalition of Welcoming Congregations

Note: If you have any questions about the project or the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact us.