It is our intention that everyone feel very welcome at First Parish. That includes children, adults, and families. In April of 2002, we officially became a “Welcoming Congregation” because of our overt interest in welcoming all people to worship with us, particularly those folks who have felt unwelcome in other religious places. This program focused on bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender persons, but we also want to be welcoming to people of racial, ethnic, religious, economic, class, and other diversities. We proudly hang our rainbow flag as a sign to the local community that everyone is welcome here.
We carefully consider our “Welcoming Congregation” status in all of our religious education planning. Being a welcoming congregation means striving to have our actions support our promise. This includes offering programs that teach about different cultures, religions, and lifestyles in ways that are positive and affirming. We recognize that there is bias in our mainstream culture and we hope that First Parish can empower our members to overcome such negative messages to be a community in which everyone is recognized as the important and valuable people they are.
Even with our welcoming intentions, we recognize that the simple process of visiting and joining a new religious community is not as easy as we all wish it could be. We know that many of our members enjoy coming here because of their strong connections and friendships with the members of our community. But seeing this unity sometimes makes it hard for visitors to initiate the process of building new friendships. The process of truly connecting can be equally challenging for new children. We are willing to help! Our DRE and many members of our church are very eager to help you feel at home at First Parish. Contact our DRE and we would be happy to assist you and your children in getting connected to our church family.