People from your own spiritual tradition can be a great resource for improving and expanding your welcome of LGBTQ people! They know the particular challenges and opportunities for inclusion that your denomination faces, along with an understanding of how best to engage your unique religious heritage. They may also have great ideas, initiatives, and resources that can help you along. In addition, you can become a source of encouragement for others in your denomination or association. You might want to hold a fundraiser or event for your denominational group or help connect them with other congregations in your area.
If the religious tradition you are affiliated does not have a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group, consider starting one or connecting with other groups. This may be challenging but can be incredibly worthwhile, offering hope and advocacy for LGBTQ people, our families, and loved ones. You will probably want to talk to leaders of existing groups to get support and ideas about how they got started.
Whether you are joining an existing group or considering starting your own, the Institute for Welcoming Resources has lists of LGBTQ-affirming groups to help you make connections:
- Check out this Multi-faith listing which includes Buddhist, Bahai, Jewish, Muslim, Unitarian Universalist and interfaith groups;
- Go here for a list of Christian denominational organizations: this list includes a wide range of conservative, evangelical, mainline, and progressive groups.
Many groups have an official position you can adopt, declaring your congregation in solidarity with LGBTQ people. If you haven’t gone through this process or signed on yet, consider doing so. This provides an opportunity to undertake valuable study and dialogue and sends a very positive message to people in your community about your position.