by Brad Garbus
Over the last couple months I have been working toward growing Unitarian Universalism in Hampton Roads, specifically in the LGBTQi community. A while ago I started attending a monthly meeting for HRBOR (Hampton Roads Business Out Reach) which is a non-profit organization that is essentially a Chamber of Commerce for the LGBTQi community business owners and our allies.
I started attending back in June when my husband was hired by Tysinger Motor Company. Tysinger is a Platinum sponsor for HRBOR. Ray was appointed their new Mercedes-Benz HRBOR representative. When we started attending together, my mind started thinking of ways this would be an amazing opportunity to introduce Unitarian Universalism to like-minded business leaders that are constantly looking to make connections and support many of our same social initiatives.
HRBOR has over 180 members representing many different areas from non-profits to large corporations. The membership is constantly growing and we are well supported by our local and state governments. It really is an amazing experience to attend these meetings. I would like to encourage everyone that reads this article to visit their website and learn more about the companies that are part of HRBOR.
The experience sparked the idea for me to build a very simple yet informative website all about Unitarian Universalism with a content page focused on the LGBTQi social justice activities. I was surprised how many people at these meetings said, “Unitarian Universalist, what? What is that?” So many like minded people do not know our faith exists. The only other church affiliation I am aware of with HRBOR is the Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk. Over the years I have discovered many LGBTQi people are either spiritual or non-spiritual and that few are comfortable in a more traditionally lead Christian service. So many in our community, but not all, label themselves as “nones”, meaning they have no specific religion they prescribe to. In many cases because they feel burned or betrayed by the one they may have been raised in. Regardless of the situation there is large number of people in the LGBTQi community that are looking for a faith where they can believe what they want to and be supported on their path.
I have had many take a deep breath of relief when they hear the “good news” of Unitarian Universalism that they have never heard before. Then when they visit the site, they are very impressed by our history and our faith’s focus on deeds not creeds.
At the UUFP Policy Board Meeting in August I presented information about HRBOR and my intentions to share information about our local congregations and our faith with HRBOR members and was given a unanimous vote of support by the board for which I am extremely grateful.
I wanted to share the information regarding HRBOR and the GrowingUUism.com website I created. If you are interested in attending one of the HRBOR monthly meetings please contact me. I will be happy to bring you as a guest.
I feel this is a great opportunity not only to spread the good news about our faith among people of like mind, but also to help those searching, find a spiritual home with us who have been unable to find one in other faith traditions.
A very informative article was published just this week about HRBOR and the Pride Fest in the Virginia Pilot. I will include the URL below so you have the opportunity to learn more about this organization. We are also listed in the HRBOR directory.
HRBOR – Hampton Roads Business Out Reach ( http://www.hrbor.org/ )
Growing UUism in Hampton Roads – ( www.GrowingUUism.org )
Please, Support HRBOR Businesses & Non-Profits: HRBOR Directory
Inside Business Article “Safe HRBOR” URL: