Thursday, April 30, 2009

Religious Institute Releases New Report on Progressive Clergy

I am pleased to let you know that this morning the Religious Institute released a new report on our groundbreaking survey of the progressive clergy who are part of our network. It was released in conjunction with a new report on welcoming congregations by our partners at the Institute for Welcoming Resources.

Both of our surveys demonstrate that when a congregation undergoes a formal welcoming process, the congregation benefits: there is greater inclusion of LGBT people and their families, greater advocacy on a wide range of social issues, and a greater openness about sexuality in general.

The Religious Institute survey is the first national study of progressive clergy's attitudes about LGBT inclusion and other sexual justice issues. Our network is nearly unanimous in its support for LGBT people, sexuality education, and reproductive justice. Yet, many of these clergy report that they have not preached about sexuality, only a quarter have sexuality education programs in their congregation, and many congregations could do more to improve both their services and public advocacy on sexual justice issues. Denomination affiliation and whether a congregation has undergone a welcoming process make a difference.

Read the full report here, including our recommendations for clergy, congregations, and denominations. And let us know what you think.


John Shuck said...

Thanks for this excellent post and article. I linked to it at my place!

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Being a lay leader at a welcoming UU congregation, I can certainly agree with the recommendations in your report. We forget how the rest of the world -- and even some of the newer members of our church -- are woefully under-educated in matters of sexuality.

Nor does it stop with LGBT individuals. There is also pastoral care for intersex folks and their families, greater awareness and outreach to the BDSM community, and working for justice for sex workers.

Let's hope this report, and your ongoing work, will lead to denominational leadership providing greater resources to their clergy and lay leaders in this area.