During the June 7, 2020 Welcoming Congregation Annual Pride Service the Matthew Shepard Award was presented to Lizzie Vena. This award, presented by the Welcoming Congregation Team of Thomas Paine Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, recognizes the efforts of a member or friend to encourage “Understanding, Compassion, and Acceptance” by manifesting the Welcoming Congregation concept in their life.
Lizzie demonstrates these principles by her commitment to supporting the LGBTQ efforts to achieve equality through any means available to her. She has participated in community events to increase the visibility of the LGBTQ community. Her interaction with others always expresses her desire to epitomize what a truly great ally of the community would be. Lizzie has been at the forefront of all efforts at Thomas Paine to promote visibility and acceptance. She is often seen wearing articles of clothing with a rainbow on them making visible her personal support for the LGBTQ community. Lizzie is a constant source of help and support; the Welcoming Congregation Team wishes to express our deep gratitude to her with the presentation of the award this year.