We Are a Welcoming Congregation!!

Rainbow ChaliceOn 26 July 2011, the Unitarian Universalist Association responded to our Welcoming Congregation Report:

Dear Minister, Welcoming Congregation Committee, Members and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you that your congregation has been recognized officially as a Welcoming Congregation.

Our history shows that the liberal religious tradition is affirmed every time another congregation commits itself to being a human place that affirms, welcomes and celebrates the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Though there remains a great deal of work to do in the Association before homophobia and transphobia become things of the past, it is congregations like yours that serve as an inspiration for those who have yet to begin the work of greater inclusion and understanding.

We are also sending you two posters, suitable for framing, that read:

“We are a Welcoming Congregation: This Unitarian Universalist Community welcomes and celebrates the presence and participation of bisexual, gay, lesbian and/or transgender people.”

Congratulations, and thanks for your important work!

Alex Kapitan

LGBT Ministries
Multicultural Growth and Witness
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations



Welcoming Congregation Report

Welcoming CongregationThe Welcoming Congregation Program is a completely volunteer program for Unitarian Universalist congregations that see a need to become more inclusive towards bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people.

The program consists of a series of workshops developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association. The goal of the workshops is to reduce prejudice by increasing understanding and acceptance among people of different sexual orientations.

On 22 May 2011 — after completing the required actions to become a Welcoming Congregation — we affirmed our desire to be a Welcoming Congregation through an overwhelming congregational vote.

Our report describing our Welcoming Congregation efforts and results can be found in an Adobe Acrobat PDF document here.


9 June 2011 Hate Crime Public Meeting – Press Coverage

Hate Crime Forum
Matthew Johnson speaks Thursday evening during a hate crimes forum at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Shreveport. / Val Horvath Davidson/Shreveport Times

On 9 June 2011, All Souls hosted a public meeting organized by P.A.C.E (People Acting for Change and Equality) and the Forum for Equality on hate crime laws.

The Shreveport Times press coverage for this public meeting can be found here:

Additional coverage about this story on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s web site can be found here:

Zoning board denies plan for ramp, and other UUs in the media

This meeting was held in response to the 26 January 2011 attack on John Skaggs at the Sand Bar in downtown Shreveport.  Police and witnesses said William Payne attacked Mr. Skaggs with the blunt end of a pool cue, causing serious facial injury to his eye socket and jawbone area and rendering him unconscious.  Mr. Payne was charged with attempted second-degree murder and committing a hate crime (Mr. Payne was making physically threatening statements regarding attacking the victim based on his sexual orientation). Mr. Skaggs suffered at least 14 facial fractures and had metal plates mounted in his face.


26 June 2011 Worship

“Becoming a Welcoming Congregation – What’s Next?” — In celebration of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender pride month, members of the Welcoming Congregation Committee will present this celebration of our recent vote affirming our wish to become a Welcoming Congregation and to explore where this ministry in our congregation will take us next.


Interfaith Collective Leadership Meeting — 6:00 PM Thursday (16 June 2011) at Life Church

Northern and Central Louisiana Interfaith’s monthly collective leadership meeting is 6:00 PM, Thursday night, 16 June 2011 at the Life Church, 2222 Meriwether Road, Shreveport, Louisiana.

The meeting will include planning for a 15 September 2011 Candidates Accountability Meeting in advance of the 22 October 2011 election, as well as a presentation on current pressures on the family and how Interfaith helps to strengthen families facing those pressures.

Hope to see you there!


Voices of Faith to Speak Out for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality in Washington DC in Late May 2011

(PRESS RELEASE)  Local Faith Leader Chaplain Barbara Jarrell to Attend Human Rights Campaign Clergy Call with Religious Leaders From Across the United States in Washington DC, 22-24 May 2011

Continue reading “Voices of Faith to Speak Out for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality in Washington DC in Late May 2011”


Green Sanctuary Action Plan

The Green Sanctuary Action Plan for All Souls is online here.

The Green Sanctuary Program, originally nurtured and managed by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, was designed to give roots and wings to the vision that, together, we can create a world in which all people make reverence, gratitude, and care for the living Earth that is central to our lives.

Voluntary participation in the Green Sanctuary Program provides a framework for congregations and congregants to proclaim and live out their commitment to the Earth.


Welcoming Congregation Informational Meeting

If you missed the 28 March 2010 Welcoming Congregation Informational Meeting presented by Clay Walker and Amanda Lawrence, you can view their slide presentation and read their handout (these documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader or other compatible PDF software to view them).

Additional information on the Welcoming Congregation Program can be found on the Unitarian Universalist Association web site.


“City Calls on Ministers” (Shreveport Times)

From the 21 December 2007 Shreveport Times:

“Area ministers and law enforcement officials gathered at Independence Stadium on Thursday for Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s latest crime-fighting initiative – ‘End the Silence, End the Violence.'” (Photo by Greg Pearson/The Shreveport Times) — [Rev. Dr. Lyn Oglesby of Shreveport is in the center of this photo.]

“Ministers are the key to Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover’s latest crime-fighting initiative.

Over lunch Thursday, Glover and Police Chief Henry Whitehorn presented ‘End the Silence, End the Violence,’ a campaign to get ministers involved in changing attitudes and mobilizing volunteers in their communities.

‘With your unique position, you have influence you can exert,’ Whitehorn said. ‘Even though a person may not be a Christian, they look to you as leaders.’

More than 60 pastors from various denominations and neighborhoods listened as the chief and mayor outlined the problems of crime and some possible solutions.”