“U” is for UUA and UCC

Uggh, that’s a lot of “U”s I’m using…cracks me up every time, ultimately! Usually the letter “U” comes befor the letter “V,” unless, you’re Lisa and I was so excited yesterday to write about the letter “V” and the value of volunteering! UUUUggg.

If you remember my religious journey, it started in Loganville, Wisconsin on top of a hill. If you don’t remember my journey…buckle up, here we go! In the Unincorporated township of Loganville (I grew up on a farm), there were two Lutheran churches. St. Peter’s was Wisconsin Synod Lutheran and this is where the rich farmers went (they had snacks during Sunday School). We went to St. John’s Missouri Synod Lutheran on top of the hill (not the rich farmers). I wanted to be a minister. Yep, true story! Mainly because I LOVED talking from the pulpit. THEN, I found out that the Missouri Synod did not (not even sure if they have changed) value women. Women/girls could not serve in any office, or be an usher, or ANYTHING. UGGH, not for me. Ultimate girl power!

As I’m writing this, the season of Passover and Easter are upon us. Ohh, and it’s April 2020 which means Covid-19 and staying home to stay safe. I am not a religious sort, but I can appreciate those religions who tend to be welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Enter, the Uniterian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. First, the Unitarian Universalist Association! The next pictures help describe their values and who they value!

All of Who You Are Is Welcome (Pride): Unitarian Universalism ...

The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs.  (uua.org)
I kinda dig the idea of the UUA world valuing the inherit worth of EACH person! In fact, it was in a UUA building that I first met my wife!

So, did you notice all of the rainbows in their logos and messaging? Yep, we in the LGBTQ world know that you are an open and affirming (safe) person, place, community of faith when we see the rainbow flag, or in your logos. Thank you, UUA!

That takes us to the UCC or the United Church of Christ. Please understand, I am not recommending one or the other, this is just a resource for you to consider how other organizations, associations, and businesses can be more inclusive to the LGBTQ world.
Image result for ucc church

Directly from the United Church of Christ’s website, here is what they believe:

We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.

We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.

We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.

Uff da (I used to work in Stoughton), that was a lot of religious talk for an article. Take what you like, leave what you don’t. No worries here. I just really want to remind you, dear reader, about the power of the rainbow and what it symbolizes to our community. There are lots of options out there regarding faith. Understanding those options is what might save a life!

The UCC uses the Bible verse John 17:21 “That all may be one” which happens to be the verse I used at YMCA Camp Edwards. Super cool how my worlds come together. I am also proudly working at Lakeland University which is based upon the UCC beliefs. One day, I’ll change their mission statement from men and women to individuals…more to come on that!

Thanks for reading this article! Please feel free to share with your community!

~Lisa, Your Inclusion Ally! (Lady Rainbow)

Published by Lisa Koenecke

An award-winning motivational speaker looking to help you succeed! Lisa is a proven collaborative leader and systems change advocate. She grew up on a farm and spent 20 summers as a camp director for both the YMCA and the Girl Scouts. After receiving her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she has been a middle and high school counselor for 12 years. She is the Past President of the Wisconsin School Counselor Association and has served on the American School Counselor Association Board of Directors. Currently, Lisa is an Adjunct Instructor at Lakeland University training the next generation of counselors.

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