Here is our new Statement of Welcome, approved by the congregation last Sunday:
We are a spiritually diverse congregation where God is still speaking. We affirm all who seek to follow Jesus’ way and share their gifts in service to the church and wider world, regardless of race, physical or mental capabilities, socio-economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
There were 214 votes cast (65 absentee; 149 present) with 186 In Favor, 16 Opposed, and 12 Abstentions.
MODERATOR’S MESSAGE – Nancy Buhr writes: “We are delighted to announce to the world that FCC UCC is indeed open and affirming. As such, we welcome anyone who chooses to worship with us and support every individual’s efforts to reach his/her full potential and we welcome the opportunities to deepen our faith as we grow in Christ together. Just as we became a permission-giving church, not knowing exactly where that would take us, we have faith that proclaiming our openness and willingness to affirm all people will bring us myriad wonderful opportunities. Look for films, speakers, workshops and more as we strive to better understand each other and what each needs to grow in faith. This body of Christ is one that is open to and affirms all.”
And, today we received this email from the ONA team in Cleveland, Ohio (UCC national office) –
Congratulations! Your church is now officially listed with the Coalition. We are so pleased to welcome you officially to the ONA Family. You will soon receive a certificate of recognition of your ONA status from The UCC Coalition.
We hope you will stay in touch with other ONA churches by subscribing to the Coalition’s free email newsletter, RIPPLES (http://www.ucccoalition.org/news/subscribe/
), becoming a friend on our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/ucc.coalition
), and following us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ucccoalition
). Other congregations are taking this ONA journey with you, so let us help you keep in touch with our nationwide community. Any member of your church is welcome to our email, Facebook and Twitter connections! Your status as a newly-listed ONA setting will also be announced in those places and you might just get a welcome from other ONA churches.
We would very much appreciate it if, at your convenience, you would share a brief reflection paragraph about what being ONA means to your church and community. We collect these reflections from newly listed ONA churches and settings for use in our materials. Please send it to me and to the Coalition office (email@example.com
In 2012, we welcomed ONA church #1000 and celebrated 40 years of LGBT ministry in the UCC. This year, we’re well on our way to #1200. Lives are being changed and saved because of the ONA ministry. We are delighted that you are part of growing this important movement with us.
Thank you very much for your commitment to full affirmation and extravagant welcome for all God’s children.
We wish you God’s blessings in your ONA ministry.