Declaration of Openness and Affirmation
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Adopted by Congregational Vote on November 19, 2000
Jesus welcomed all people; so do we. In fact, that’s why, many years ago, we adopted a statement saying so:
As a congregation we seek to know and share God’s love within us. We believe that each of us has a right and responsibility to seek our own Spirit-guided understanding of the Holy Scriptures. We acknowledge that our understandings are incomplete. We respect those whose prayerful consideration of scripture and tradition led them to conclusions other than those in this declaration. We trust that by grace, God grants us all a growing understanding of God’s universal truth. Despite our differences, we affirm the good news proclaimed by Jesus Christ, that God’s love is an inclusive love for all creation and all people.
We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming Congregation in response to the resolution adopted by the 15th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in July 1985. We welcome all persons seeking to know and share God’s love in a Christian community without discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, economic class, physical condition or mental ability. We seek to be a uniting church, encouraging all people – including those who have difficulty accepting all of this declaration – to experience the costs and joys of discipleship as members and leaders of this community of faith.
We celebrate the diversity of human nature and human relationships. We recognize sexuality and sexual orientation as gifts of God. We seek to support relationships and families based on the Christian principles of love, justice, fidelity, trust and mutual care.
We acknowledge that in history the Christian Church has often condemned or excluded gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals. We commit ourselves to oppose discrimination and prejudice in our attitudes, our personal relationships and our congregation. We will seek justice and advocate redress of the wrongs committed against sexual minorities in our local community and in society at large.