The congregation at Kirkland’s Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church overwhelmingly supported a move last month to welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, but it seems not everyone in the Kirkland community is happy with the decision.
In the spring Northlake began a process to earn a “Welcoming Congregation” designation, which recognizes a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church’s inclusiveness toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. In preparation for the designation, the church purchased a rainbow flag — a common symbol of the gay community — to fly from its flagpole. The flag disappeared on May 13. When the church purchased and raised a replacement flag, it also disappeared.
The Kirkland Police Department was informed after each instance, but neither they nor the church have any leads as to who took the flags, church administrator Cate Foster said. In the meantime, she said Northlake has purchased more flags and will fly one again once a more secure method is established.
The liberal make-up of the church makes it unlikely the thief is someone from within the congregation, Foster said. A primary principle of the UU church is “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”
“A lot of people who come to UU churches come because they’re looking for a little freedom in their spiritual quest,” she said.
Currently without a full-time minister, the small church of about 100 members hosts services at 308 4th Ave. S. The building is also used by an evangelical church and is regularly rented out for weddings.
Members in attendance at a July 13 service unanimously voted to become “Welcoming.”