As we all know, Sunday morning’s mass shooting in Orlando occurred at a gay nightclub. The hail of bullets that killed 49 people and injured that many more was aimed directly at the LGBTQ community. This was a reprehensible act of cowardice and a repulsive act of hatred.
The United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming denomination that has long been strongly supportive and inclusive of members of the LGBTQ community. Our church has long been accepting of gays and lesbians among us. Unlike many other UCC churches we have not made our acceptance a public stance. This is what the Open and Affirming status accomplishes.
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
After Vision Ministry approves, we will initiate the ONA process so that our church can STAND UP AND BE COUNTED as those who are strongly supportive and inclusive of members of the LGBTQ community. We already are open and accepting in practice. Now we will look into being Open and Affirming in public.