- Open and Affirming
Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
For Christ, having received, not one or two of us, but all together, has thus connected us, so that we ought to cherish one another.” (John Calvin)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of faith often experience emotional and spiritual injury in churches that condemn their capacity to love and seek love. Because they’ve learned that “All Are Welcome” usually doesn’t apply to them, they can’t assume that any church will be safe for them and their families.
A public welcome by an Open and Affirming (ONA) church sends a clear message to LGBT seekers that they have a home in the United Church of Christ.
A congregation’s affirmation and support through an ONA covenant can be a life-changing and life-saving experience—especially for LGBT youth.
A public welcome to LGBT seekers helps churches grow. When new ONA churches attract new members, many of them are young straight couples starting new families: they identify with the values ONA represents, and want their children to learn the faith in a welcoming church.
By adopting an ONA covenant, a congregation is taking seriously St. Paul’s admonition to “accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7, NIV)