This statement was adopted by the congregation on September 19, 2021.
The Open and Affirming Discernment team was formed by the Church Board (10/12/2020) to guide our congregation through a discernment practice concerning becoming an Open and Affirming church. We have talked with other ONA churches, surveyed our congregation, held personal conversations with all members willing to participate, lead group discussions and seminars, and continually prayed for discernment.
After reviewing dozens of other ONA welcome statements from other UCC churches, we have drafted the following statement for our church. This statement was discussed and approved by the Church Board (8/5/2021) to be voted on at our congregational meeting on September 19, 2021.
Open and Affirming Welcome Statement
First Congregational Church UCC of Loveland, Colorado, affirms that ALL people are created by God, in the image of God, and are beloved in the eyes of God. We affirm that every member of this congregation, a covenant community, has an equal opportunity for full participation in the life of the church, as well as the love, respect, and support of the congregation. In a covenant community, members support each other, worship together and provide the guidance each person needs to strengthen their faith.
As an Open and Affirming congregation, we seek to be an expression of God’s all- encompassing love in the world. We reach out to those who have known the sorrow of exclusion, discrimination, and marginalization by society and the church. We seek to promote Christ’s compassion, healing, and fullness of life for all people.
Embracing the gifts of diversity and affirming the dignity and worth of each person, we extend a welcome to persons –
of every race, ethnic heritage, and nationality,
of every sex, gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation,
of every age,
of every physical and mental ability,
of various marital and familial statuses,
of various economic statuses or financial situations,
of different faiths or without faith.
We believe God calls us to create a sacred, safe, and inclusive space where all are loved as Christ loved them. The Holy Spirit moves among us to create a sense of belonging to a sacred community, and to encourage love and acceptance of one another.
Whoever YOU are and wherever YOU are on life’s journey, YOU are welcome here.