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Ashby First Parish Church is working to become a church where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can find a spiritual home and community.

LGBT people have made progress in recent years, especially in the eyes of the law, but social attitudes are slower to change. In many places, LGBT people are still harassed and shunned, conspicuously or quietly. Sometimes, sadly, they are made to feel unwelcome in the very place where a human being should feel most safe and accepted: the house of worship.

In 1990, the Unitarian Universalist Association launched its Welcoming Congregation program, to encourage congregations to move beyond acceptance to positive affirmation of their LGBT members and friends. This past year, Ashby First Parish Church embarked on the formal Welcoming Congregation program in collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon.

On Sunday, Oct. 26, at 12:30 p.m., at the Ashby church, the two congregations will offer a presentation and discussion open to the public. We will learn about the experiences of bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender people through presentations by a panel who are willing to speak openly about their lives and answer questions.

For more information, see http://www.ashbyuu.org/ or email minister@ashbyuu.org.

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