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Welcoming LGBTQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

What do folks wear?
People dress comfortably. You'll find most people wearing casual attire -- everything from typical "Friday casual days" wear to jeans and T-shirts. There are some who feel more comfortable in a coat and tie or a dress. Children will be fine in jeans or any play clothes.

Is your church wheelchair accessible?
Accessible iconYes! There are safe concrete ramps up to the sanctuary and between the sanctuary and the guild room where we have our potlucks, games days, and occasional meetings). There are two wheelchair accessible bathrooms, one a short distance from the sanctuary and the other near the guild room.

Exception: The Children's Religious Education classes are usually held on the second floor of the Education Building. However, the classes occasionally meet in the accessible guild room.

There is a small parking lot behind the church (entrance is off Grand Ave.), particularly for those with mobility issues. We will work with anyone to make our meetings and services as accessible as possible. Please contact us by email info@uuliveoak.org or call 510-419-0953 for specific answers (wheelchair access; steps/railings; parking; scents, e.g.).

Members & friends posing on the July 4th parade float.Do you provide for hearing or visually impaired?
Yes! We have assistive listening devices available for the sanctuary. And we have large print hymnals and large print programs (we call the program our Order of Service) at all our worship services. Again, please contact us by email info@uuliveoak.org or call 510-419-0953 with your questions or concerns.

What about other disabilities?
We are aware there are many disabilities, including hidden ones. We hope everyone will let us know what their needs are so that we can work together to solve or avoid problems that might occur. Please contact us by email info@uuliveoak.org or call 510-419-0953 with your concerns. Your privacy will be respected.

What do children do during the service?
Children and youth join the adults in the sanctuary for the first part of our worship service (about 15 minutes). During this time, we hear a story for all ages that connects adults and children with the topic of the service and homily. Occasionally children or youth take a role in creating worship or Jody Savage leading worship in the new sanctuarymusic. After about 15 minutes, the children and their teachers head to their classrooms for a lesson -- and fun and games -- while the adults continue in worship.

May our child stay with us during the service?
Of course. Many Sundays there are young ones at our service. 

How do I find you?
See the directions to our church and the map.

Will I be welcome?
Absolutely. As you enter, you will be greeted by church members who will officially welcome you, offer you a nametag, and answer questions you may have. We hope you will feel comfortable providing us with contact information so we may stay in touch.

Rainbow chaliceDo you welcome LGBTIQ folks?
Yes. Many active members of our community are openly gay, Lesbian, or bisexual. Some come just for Sunday services. Some sing in the choir, serve on committees, or on our Board of Trustees. All are fully integrated into our community.

What goes on during the worship services?
Most services include the following.

  • Live music (choir, piano, and/or other instruments)
  • A reading and/or a personal reflection
  • A homily (See the Upcoming Services page for topics.)
  • Embracing Meditation - We invite people to speak aloud the names of those they are honoring, remembering or asking to be held in the embrace of the community.
  • At every service, we sing this Metta prayer (Listen to congregation singing it.)
  • Hymns, congregational singing
  • Offering (supporting one of several non-profits, mostly local)
  • A benediction

After a short time visiting with other guests and members, many head to the parish hall behind the sanctuary for a shared meal. We welcome all to join us as we break bread together. It's a great chance to get to know people.

Diverse religious symbolsDoes your congregation have diverse beliefs?
Yes, indeed. In our congregation we have humanists, theists, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and more. Although individual Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs about everything -- from scripture to rituals to God -- we uphold shared principles and come together for personal -- and community -- spiritual development guided by freedom, reason, and conscience.

How do I become a member?
We suggest you attend our services several times. Spend some time talking with other members of Live Oak and, perhaps, reading pamphlets, books, or on-line material, including Live Oak's page on Meaning of Membership. Once you have decided you want to join, share that good news with one of our members and you will be invited to sign the membership book. We will hold an Ingathering of New Members during a worship service several times a year.

What do I do if I have other questions?
Email info@uuliveoak.org or call Lisa Fry at 510-419-0953.

Credit: We'd like to thank Gila Jones, one of the moderators of the UUA-sponsored Newcomers e-mail list, for many of the questions above. The answers are our own.

 

 

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