OPEN AND AFFIRMING (ONA) STATEMENT OF THE SOMESVILLE UNION MEETING HOUSE
For centuries gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning, and bisexual persons have been the targets of some of the most hateful, discriminatory and harmful actions of both society and the Church. We acknowledge that the Church has often judged and excluded from the community of faith, gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning, and bisexual persons or has been complicit by its silence. We also acknowledge the presence of ignorance, fear and distaste in ourselves, in the Church, and in our society, and we ask for the grace of God to overcome them.
Recognizing that fear and prejudice often come from lack of understanding, we intend to welcome, include and support those persons who, because of this fear and prejudice, find themselves in exile from a spiritual community. We believe that, although we are many members, we are only one body in Christ, and we are called to love one another, to do justice, to bring release to the oppressed, and to walk together humbly with our God. We affirm that each of us, as a person loved by God, has a right and a responsibility to support each other's faith journey, as we live, learn, grow and change.
Therefore, we, the members and friends of the Somesville Union Meeting House, United Church of Christ, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation and we wish it known that we welcome all persons of every race, age, marital status, nationality, and sexual orientation into the full life and ministry of this community of faith, including membership, leadership and employment.
We recognize and welcome into our fellowship persons of all sexual orientations, be they single, in committed partnerships, or families, including those which are nuclear, blended and extended. We affirm relationships and behavior based on mutual love, responsibility, trust and loyalty.
As an Open and Affirming church we join our sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ and all other persons who are committed to the struggle for justice, love and inclusiveness, with the examples of Jesus Christ as our guide.
Adopted January 1996