National ONA Gathering Celebrate, Worship, Organize!

June 27-30 Cathedral of Hope Dallas TX

Why this Gathering is important for you and your church

National ONA Gathering is the signature annual event for the UCC’s nationwide ONA movement. With inspiring worship and music, unforgettable preaching, informative workshops, and opportunities for rest and play, an ONA Gathering is an opportunity to renew your congregation’s passion for ONA ministry, mission, evangelism and advocacy. This year, we’re meeting June 27-30 at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas.

Por qué este Encuentro es importante para ti y para tu iglesia

El encuentro nacional ONA (Open and Affirming o “Abiertas y Afirmando”) es el evento principal del movimiento nacional de iglesias ONA de la Iglesia Unida de Cristo (United Church of Christ – UCC). Con servicios de adoración y música inspiradora, predica inolvidable, talleres informativos y oportunidades para descansar y jugar, y el Encuentro ONA es una oportunidad para renovar la pasión de su congregación por el ministerio, la misión, el evangelismo y la defensa de ONA, iglesias abiertas y afirmando. Este año, nos reuniremos en la Catedral de la Esperanza en Dallas.

Keynoter: the Rev. Justo González II

Energetic and dynamic, the Rev. Justo González, II, brings a love of God and the compassion of Christ to his prophetic ministry, social justice witness and community engagement. As Southwest Area Minister for the UCC Michigan Conference, he serves 50 churches and two Associations in western Michigan. He is also the Conference’s Coordinator for Latinx Ministries. In that role he advocates for the needs of Latinx peoples and works collaboratively to create a unified and strategic response to immigration issues, including the status of Dreamers. He is the founder and pastor of IUC Ministerios Rios de Agua Viva / Joy Like a River UCC, a new multilingual, intercultural church plant, and the only Sanctuary Church in West Michigan. Pastor González will challenge the Open and Affirming movement at this Gathering to stand not only with LGBTQ people, but all whose dignity and freedom in this country is under assault. Later in the Gathering, he will coach congregations on how they can become Sanctuary Churches–a movement that is defending immigrant families.

Later this month, we’ll post the names and stories of other presenters and discussion leaders at this Gathering.


Wednesday, June 27

10 amRegistration opens
1:30 - 3:45 pmTours of Cathedral of Hope
ONA Consultant Mixer
Youth and Young Adult Mixer
4 - 5:30 pmOpening Keynote: Rev. Justo González II
6- 7:30 pmDinner
7:15 pmOption 1: PULSE worship at Cathedral
7:45 pmOption 2: Gathering Choir rehearsal

Thursday, June 28

9 - 9:45 amMorning Devotions
10 - 10:45 amFocus: Intersectionality
11 - 11:30 amSmall Groups: Your Response
12 - 1 pmLunch
1:30 - 2:15 pmFocus: Race
2:30 - 3 pmSmall Groups: Your Response
3:15 - 4:15Workshop Session I
4:30 - 5:30 Workshop Session II
5:45 - 7 pmDinner
7 pmFree time
Choir rehearsal
Dallas at Night

Friday, June 29

9 - 10:30 amWorship with Holy Communion. Focus: Immigrants and Our Communities
10:45 - 11:30Small Groups: Your Response
12 - 1:15 pmLunch
1:30 - 2:15 pmFocus: Widening Our Welcome (A2A and Mental Health in ONA churches)
2:30 - 3 pmBreakout: Facilitated Conversation
3:30 - 4:30Focus: Transgender Awareness
4:45 - 5:30 pmSmall Groups: Your Response
6:30 pmOpen and Affirming Banquet (open invitation to all churches)

Saturday, June 30

9 - 9:45 amMorning Devotions
10 - 10:30 amState of the ONA Movement (Andy Lang)
10:45 - 11:15 amBreakout: Facilitated Conversation
12 - 1:15 pmLunch
1:30 - 2:15 pmFocus: Future of the ONA Movement
2:30 - 3:00 pmBreakout: Facilitated Conversation
3:15 - 3:45 pmSending and Blessing


We’ve reserved a block of rooms at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Dallas-Love Field for National Gathering. Cost is $149 a night, including breakfast. (Ask for Cathedral of Hope pricing.) We will operate a van service between the hotel and the Gathering site, and breakfast is included. Reservation number is 214-357-8500.

There are other, less expensive hotels in the area. Please let us know if you need any help with housing.


Full registration includes lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the National ONA Banquet Wednesday night. Daily registration (except Wednesday) includes lunch on that day.


We can waive registration and meal costs for participants in financial need. Please apply on the registration form. We’ll need help to cover the cost of scholarships: if you’re paying for registration, please consider an additional gift to help others attend. That option is included on your registration form.



More details about National Gathering, including presentations and workshops, will be posted in April. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Graff at