Open and Affirming


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Open and Affirming

The Open and Affirming (ONA) movement began in the United Church of Christ (UCC) on a national level in 1985 when the General Synod (the national delegate body of the UCC) adopted the resolution, "Calling on United Church of Christ Congregations to Declare Themselves Open and Affirming."

The other two denominations to which we belong have similar programs. In the Unitarian/Universalist denomination it is called Welcoming Congregations, and the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ calls it Open Affirming. (Related site: the Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance.)

Following a period of study, discussion and prayer, a congregation may declare itself Open and Affirming by adopting a statement asserting that "gay, lesbian, and bisexual people (or "people of all sexual orientations") are welcome in the full life and ministry of the church." Such congregations embrace the belief that God's affirmation of the gift of sexuality is not restricted to those who are heterosexual, and that their church should witness to God's inclusive love. In this context, "open" means more than tolerant. It means totally accepting and warmly welcoming people of all sexual orientations to fully participate in all aspects of church life, including leadership.



All Souls Bethelehem Church, Brooklyn, NY 11218-5902

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