Screenshot 2024-02-09 at 3.09.38 PM
Pride Festival 2023 (Jim P & Susan B)

Live Oak is an official 'Welcoming Congregation'

Signing the Marriage Certificate

Our interim minister, Rev. Thomas (above right), married his longtime beloved, Bob (left), at Live Oak - the first wedding in our newly built Sanctuary.

In 2000 Live Oak Unitarian Universalist earned its "Welcoming Congregation" badge from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The badge signifies that our congregation made a formal commitment to affirm and include the LGBTQ+ community in worship and programs, including children and adult religious exploration. Our congregation took the necessary steps to earn this designation from the UUA, the central organization that guides our liberal faith movement.

Live Oak is honored to have been the founding host of Proud Prom, organized by the Pacific Pride Foundation. For years, our congregants prepared delicious refreshments and decorated, transforming our Sanctuary into dance hall where LGBTQ youth could bring their whole selves to a safe place to enjoy the high school prom experience. So successful, Proud Prom outgrew our Sanctuary, and is now held at the larger Deckers' Corporation venue in Goleta.

The first wedding held in our newly built Sanctuary was celebration of Rev. Thomas, our interim minister who married his life partner, Bob, sharing this important life event with the entire congregation. Across the years, we've been a present at events, such as the Pride Festival and Heart + Sole AIDS Walks to raise money for Pacific Pride Foundation's AIDS/HIV education and outreach programs. In addition one of our founding members and two of our youths have transitioned, allowing the congregation's love to hold and sustain them along their transgender journey

Come worship with us, and know that our hearts and doors are open to the LGBTQ+ community. Our personal and spiritual growth opportunities extend to all.

Commitments ~ A welcoming congregation... inclusive and expressive of the concerns of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer at every level of congregational life—in worship, in program, and in social occasions—welcoming not only their presence but the unique gifts and particularities of their lives as well.

...does not assume anyone’s affectional/sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Vocabulary of worship reflects this perception; worship celebrates diversity by inclusivity of language and content.

...demonstrates an understanding of the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons, [which is] fully incorporated by a Welcoming Congregation throughout all programs, including religious education.

...includes in its bylaws an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.

...engages in outreach into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, both through its advertising and by actively supporting other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer affirmative groups.

...offers congregational and ministerial support for services of union and memorial services for persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer, and celebrations of evolving definitions of family.

...celebrates the lives of all people and welcomes same-gender couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affection without regard for sexual orientation.

...seeks to nurture ongoing dialogue between people of different affectional/sexual orientations and gender identities, and to create deeper trust and sharing.

...affirms and celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history during the church year.

...advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, and attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society. It speaks out when the rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are at stake.

...celebrates the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.