Celebrating 25 years of being Open and Affirming

In 1985, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ accepted a resolution that called on congregations to declare themselves open to and affirming of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the full life and ministry of the church. In 1990, a committee was formed at First Congregational to study the possibility of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation.  After two years of study and writing a resolution, the church voted in May of 1992 to become an Open and Affirming congregation. The church was the 76th church of the United Church of Christ to declare their welcoming stance. Since the original vote, the church has intentionally added and welcomed individuals who identify as trans, or questioning. These actions and commitment need to be celebrated!
Now, 25 years later, we will CELEBRATE the commitment that was made to welcome and affirm our LGBT friends and family. Our guest preacher for Sunday will be Andy Lang, the Executive Director of the Coalition for LGBTQ of the UCC. We look forward to his message of gratitude and challenge. With the help of our members, photos and written history has been unearthed and will be on display in the Narthex. Thanks to Petovnia McIntosh, Terry McLaren, John Quinlan, and Ann Beaty for sorting, organizing and displaying this rich history. And, of course there will be cake!
I give thanks for a church community that has opened their arms wide and embraced me and my family. First Congregational not only puts welcome into words, but lives out the welcome on Sundays and throughout the week in action. 
Come celebrate the work started over 25 years ago, and continues today, as we celebrate not only being ONA (Open and Affirming), but the celebration of ALL of God's children. *No exceptions. 
In the words of Rev. Dr. Carolyn Pressler, who helped us celebrate 20 years,
"I don't take the Bible literally, though in the classic cliché, I take it very seriously. . . it's because the story of God's involvement with all the different peoples God has created is so much more than our human minds could ever encompass or articulate, that no book, no matter how profound, not even the Bible, can literally describe it."
                                                ~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on October 3, 2017 at 11:42 am in Featured Content.

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