Open & Affirming

 

All are welcome in the United Church of Christ!

The Southwest Conference UCC is an open and affirming (ONA) Conference!

ONA churches have adopted an "Open and Affirming" covenant welcoming all people, without regard to sexual orientation, into the life and ministry of the congregation. However, many UCC congregations that for various reasons have not adopted an ONA covenant are nevertheless welcoming and safe communities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians.

Of the 50 churches in the Southwest Conference, 32 have made public statements confirming their Open and Affirming (ONA) support of the national position.

At the 2009 Southwest Conference UCC Annual Meeting, church delegates overwhelmingly approved a resolution declaring the Conference to be Open and Affirming.
 

The UCC has a long history of supporting the civil rights of LGBT persons.
The UCC was the first denomination to ordain an openly gay man and a lesbian woman. Since 1969, the United Church of Christ (UCC) has issued statements in support of LGBT (lesbian / gay / bisexual / transsexual) people and their families. However, because the UCC is non-hierarchal, any resolutions put forth by the executive and delegate decision-making bodies, are non-binding on local churches. Openness and affirmation of LGBT persons may vary from church to church.

Today, there are over 1,000 UCC ONA churches across the country.
As more and more churches in every denomination take a fresh look at the Bible and its overarching message of God's love for all, it appears that the Welcoming Church Movement is here to stay. Churches that have declared themselves to be Open and Affirming to LGBT people are leading the way on issues of justice and inclusion. Such churches are a beacon of light and hope to the Church Universal and to society-- and that's something to celebrate! 

Learn more about LGBT ministries in the United Church of Christ. [Link]


Reflections of Being a Father

For Father's Day 2014, Davin Franklin-Hicks was asked by the Rev. Delle McCormick, the pastor at Rincon UCC in Tucson, to share his story of fatherhood. He tells his story and the story of his son in this video. His reflection is exquisite, both from the perspective of his coming into fatherhood with his foster son, and his son coming into manhood as a healthy person when his circumstances would seem to dictate otherwise.

 
 

UCC LGBT Ministry News

Welcoming Church/Open and Affirming Trainings

This training has been designed specifically with local churches and their leaders in mind. In offering these trainings, the Health and Wholeness Advocacy Office is a partner with the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns, along with the welcoming church programs of several other denominations. 

Each training will explore topics which will help you become a more effective leader on issues related to human sexuality and gender identity for the purpose of helping a local church discern God's call to live the values of ONA. 

Participation in the trainings is ecumenical and there is time in each training session devoted to denominationally specific information, especially related to learning about resources, planning and other things particular to the denomination of the participant. 

 

Information about the trainings, including the training schedule [Link]

Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit [PDF]

ONA Links

Conference ONA churches
List of SWC churches that have delared to be open and affirming

SWC Church ONA Statements
Read each church's statement

Conference ONA Resolution [PDF]
Read the 2009 SWC Resolution

UCC LBGT Ministries
National setting LGBT Website

Called Out eNews
Subscribe to the electronic newsletter on LGBT concerns

UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Advocates for LGBT persons, their families and friends

 

It Gets Better Project

While many of these teens couldn’t see a positive future for themselves, we can. The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. 

The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

It Gets Better Website [Link]


The UCC has a long history of supporting the civil rights of LGBT persons

The UCC was the first denomination to ordain an openly gay man and a lesbian woman. Since 1969, the United Church of Christ (UCC) has issued statements in support of LGBT (lesbian / gay / bisexual / transsexual) people and their families. However, because the UCC is non-hierarchal, any resolutions put forth by the executive and delegate decision-making bodies, are non-binding on local churches. Openness and affirmation of LGBT persons may vary from church to church.

Today, there are over 700 UCC ONA churches across the country.

As more and more churches in every denomination take a fresh look at the Bible and its overarching message of God's love for all, it appears that the Welcoming Church Movement is here to stay. Churches that have declared themselves to be Open and Affirming to LGBT people are leading the way on issues of justice and inclusion. Such churches are a beacon of light and hope to the Church Universal and to society-- and that's something to celebrate! 

Select the following link for more information about LGBT ministries in the United Church of Christ.

UCC LGBT Ministry [Link]


SWC Churches: Open and Affirming Statements

ARIZONA

Black Mountain UCC • Scottsdale, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
Black Mountain United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming congregation as such we seek to be inclusive and to welcome into the full life and ministry of our church all persons without regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, marital status, economic status, and personal ability. We recognize the diversity of human nature as a part of God's universal wisdom, and affirm all families and relationships focused on love, respect, responsibility and trust.

 

Casas Adobes Congregational Church • Tucson, AZ

Casas Adobe Congregational Church Mission Statement:
Our mission is to provide opportunities to experience God’s presence and in humble and caring ways to use all of our resources to welcome, love, challenge, and equip each other for Christ’s ministry in our community and in the world...

We recognize each person is a beloved child of God. We seek to make our lives an expression of the Word of God as exemplified in Jesus Christ.

We welcome and celebrate all who seek the experience of God’s unconditional love. We extend this welcome to all regardless of, but not limited to: ability, age, cultural background, economic status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religious heritage, or sexual orientation.

As an open and affirming congregation, we strive... 

  • To reach out to all people; to sincerely and warmly welcome visitors and friends. 
  • To reach out to those in need in our community and in the world. 
  • To seek to provide an environment that encourages each person to best use their talents to the glory of God. 
  • To provide a community of Christian fellowship where faith can grow through commitment and deed.
 

Church of the Beatitudes • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
We acknowledge that throughout history the Christian church has often condemned and excluded people because of race, culture, age, gender, economic status, disability or sexual orientation. While the church has made progress in being open and affirming to many groups, there continues to be condemnation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons form the community of faith, or, at least, a tolerance of such condemnation and exclusion through silence. We believe such actions are inconsistent with Christ’s teachings.

Church of the Beatitudes is a community of faith-keeping and faith-seeking people who affirm that every person has worth as a unique creation made in the image of God. We recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming into the full life and ministry of the church persons of every race, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and economic status.

We commit to model a community of faith and spirit that works toward openness and understanding, offering justice, healing and wholeness of life for all people. We believe that through our diversity, all can grow and practice a unity of faith that transcends our differences.

 

Church of the Painted Hills • Tucson, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
We proclaim ourselves to be an open and affirming congregation, accepting all people who affirm their faith in Jesus Christ, and who take Christ as a guide for their living.

We acknowledge the image of God in every person. We rejoice in the sacredness of Life and we proclaim and celebrate God's wondrous love for all persons. We seek to follow the principles of love and justice in all of our relationships. 

We believe that, although we are many members, we are one body in Christ. As such, we are called to love one another, to do justice, to bring release to the oppressed and to walk humbly with our God. Our goal of ministry is to heal the brokenness that we experience in ourselves and in our relationships with God and with each other. We recognize that within the Church each of us can be transformed as we learn obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

We believe that the spirit of Jesus' message and life is an affirmation and vision of the unity of all creation, expressed in His prayer, "That they all may be one."

Neither approving nor disapproving, we declare that we the Congregation of the Church of the Painted Hills welcome all persons regardless of marital status, cultural heritage, ethnicity, theological viewpoint or economic status as well as gay, lesbian and bisexual people into the full faith and fellowship of this church.

 

Church of the Palms • Sun City, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
The Church of the Palms, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people into the full life and ministry of our church, regardless of age, race, or gender; personal, mental or physical ability; gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; ethnic, cultural or religious background; marital, social, or economic status; or life history. We believe that God loves all people and offers us gifts in our diversity. We affirm families and relationships built on love, respect, responsibility, and trust.

 

Church of the Red Rocks • Sedona, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement: 
Still Speaking God, we, the community of The Church of the Red Rocks, seek to be a body of Christians who celebrate and live in openness to your voice. Therefore, we covenant with you and one another as we seek to live Christ’s compassion, promote justice, healing and wholeness of life.  

As Children of God, we celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of each expression of God’s diverse family as well as our oneness in Christ, and believe that attitudes and acts of injustice, discrimination and violence work against the gospel of Jesus Christ. As such, we welcome into our community persons of every gender, age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental and physical ability, economic and social status, political background, faith background, marital standing and family structure. We invite all to share fully in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, blessings and joys of our congregation as we seek to grow together in faith and love.

 

Congregational Church of the Valley • Scottsdale, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
We the members of the Congregational Church of the Valley, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation.  In following the teachings of Jesus, we are called upon to love each other as we are loved by God, freely and unconditionally.  Our faith leads us to welcome persons of all ages, races, sexual orientation, gender identities, family structure, immigration status, social-economic background and physical or mental abilities.  We embrace and affirm the dignity and worth of every human being as we walk together in our faith journey.

 

Desert Heritage UCC • Mesa, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement: 
We, the members and friends of Desert Heritage Church, declare that we are a Peace and Justice Church. 
We will endeavor to carry out the Biblical mandate to work towards 
Peace and Justice in our church, our community and our world. 
Isaiah has written: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Is. 1:17 
Again, the Prophets write: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.” Is. 2:4; Joel 3:10; Micah 4:3. 
Micah writes: “What does the Lord require of you?
To do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8. 
Jesus has stated: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Matt. 5:9. 
And Jesus has been called “The Prince of Peace” Is. 9:6. 
Peace and justice go together.
To have peace there must be justice for all peoples. No one will be denied into the full life, leadership and ministry of the church due to color of skin, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language or status.

 

Desert Palm UCC • Tempe, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
As part of the Christian community of faith, Desert Palm United Church of Christ has been strengthened by its struggles to act within the spirit of our faith against the prejudices and injustices which occur in society today. We have extended our spiritual horizons, opened our doors to welcome all who seek a church home, and put the Good News message we preach into practice.  

The members of Desert Palm Church with the help of God, covenant to live as an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, welcoming people of any sexual orientation into the full life, membership, leadership and employment of this church. Desert Palm Church covenants to live as a multi-cultural, multi-racial, intergenerational community; we seek to break down the barriers of separation between communities based on race, sex, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic class, culture, language, and other physical or social differences, and to celebrate our diversity while affirming our unity in Jesus Christ.  

We further recommend the Church Council establish a task force to work with the congregation and its boards and committees to incorporate this covenant statement into the life and ministry of this church.

 

Encanto Community Church • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
We, the Congregation of Encanto Community Church, Phoenix, declare ourselves to be Open and Affirming. With God's grace, we seek to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, or social-economic background. We welcome all to share fully in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

 

First Congregational Church • Flagstaff, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
We, the Congregation of First Congregational Church of Flagstaff, declare ourselves to be Open and Affirming. With God's grace, we seek to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, or social-economic background. We welcome all to share fully in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

 

First Congregational UCC • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
Because we believe all people are beloved children of God, we welcome them into the full life, ministry, fellowship and leadership of this congregation. We do this without regard to age, race, ethnicity or national origin; physical, mental, emotional ability or disability; gender, marital status, gender identity, or sexual orientation; socio-economic background or circumstance, or political affiliation.  

We, the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Phoenix, Arizona, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation. We offer ourselves as an inclusive community in which the Gospel of God’s love for all people is honored and practiced. We affirm this church as a place of hope and a community of welcome to all in Christ’s name.  

Our Prayer is that the variety of the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to those present and those God is yet to call into our midst will make us ever more useful servants of God to our brothers and sisters within our church, our many kinds of families, our neighborhoods and our world.

 

First Congregational UCC • Prescott, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement: 
First Congregational Church of Prescott, United Church of Christ, is an Open and Affirming congregation. We include all persons without regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, faith, marital status, and personal ability. We welcome all to share the celebrations and challenges of our congregation. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

 

First Congregational UCC • Tempe, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement: 
WHEREAS Jesus Christ teaches us to love one another (John 15:7), and; 

WHEREAS the Apostle Paul teaches us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:14), and; 

WHEREAS the members of the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc. covenant and struggle to be a Body of Christ “in which there is no dissension, but where members may have the same care for one another, so that if one member suffers, all suffer together with it, and if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27), therefore; 

BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc., in all aspects of its administrative, program and worship life, declare the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc. to be Open and Affirming (ONA) of all persons. We covenant with God and one another to extend welcome and Christian fellowship to all followers and seekers of Christ without fear, prejudice, or discrimination in regard to sexual orientation (including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), gender identity, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, physical, mental or emotional condition, education, financial situation, biblical or theological interpretation, or any other circumstance that has historically been a barrier to full life, participation, membership, mission, work and ministry in the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc.. We embrace all persons as equal partners in the Body of Christ with unlimited access to opportunity of service to God, and; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we of the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc. will continue a committed, prayerful, and respectful dialogue with one another as we seek God’s guidance for greater biblical and theological understanding of important issues, including those relating to human sexuality, and; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the First Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc. reaches this decision because we “affirm the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God.” (from Paragraph 2, Preamble, UCC Constitution.)  

Implementation: Implemented by legal passage of the Congregational Church of Tempe, AZ United Church of Christ, Inc., at the February 28, 2010, Annual Meeting and is immediately implemented and was immediately made a part of our by-laws.

 

Good Shepherd UCC • Sahuarita, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement: 
We at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ seek to welcome all God’s people into our fellowship, to minister to one another’s needs and provide opportunities for every person’s full participation in the life and mission of this congregation.

As an Open and Affirming congregation, we recognize the diversity of human nature to be part of God's creation and are committed to being inclusive of all persons regardless of age, race, gender, cultural or faith background, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, mental or physical ability, marital status, economic circumstances, or political affiliation, and affirm all families and relationships founded on love, respect, responsibility and trust. 

As a United Church of Christ congregation ministering in this southern Arizona borderland, where cultural, racial, and religious diversity converge, we also affirm that part of our mission is to work for a just and loving world, giving recognition to all human needs in this unique time and place.

We, as a people who seek to follow Jesus example of “Extravagant Welcome,” invite all, no matter where they are on their faith journeys, into the full life and ministry of this congregation.

 

Ktizo United Church of Christ • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
We strive to inspire, with love, the living experience of the still-speaking God in a community where all, not some, are welcome.

 

Rebel & Divine • Phoenix, AZ

Open & Affirming Statement: 
We, the people of Rebel & Divine, are drawn together in faith and aspiration for emulating the unconditional love of God as a new faith community of the United Church of Christ Southwest Conference. We are called to do justice, be kind, and walk with God. We joyfully pledge to serve as a safe sanctuary, open to and affirming of all people.  

Believing that each person is created in the image of God and practicing the radical hospitality of Jesus, we welcome all people into the full life and ministry of this community. We include people of all ages, nationalities, ancestries, ethnic groups and faith backgrounds; people of all gender identities and sexual orientations; people of all mental, emotional and physical abilities; and people of all economic and social standings who seek to learn the teachings of Jesus.  

We are especially grateful for the gift of youth and young adults, and we promise, by word and example, to help them discover their true identity as beloved children of God. We promise to help them grow in faith, love, respect and affirmation of themselves and others. We celebrate families in all their diverse forms, traditional or non-traditional.  

In mutual support and love, we offer ourselves as a source of strength for humankind while striving toward righteousness, justice and peace in the name of the rebel and divine Jesus. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

 

Rincon Congregational Church • Tucson, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
We declare ourselves to be an open and affirming church accepting and valuing people regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity and physical/mental ability.

 

Scottsdale Congregational UCC • Scottsdale, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
The World: Our Life with Others 

We seek to express in actions the love God has shown for us. 

We have no desire to claim now, or in the future, that we know the totality of God's truth. We wish to be faithful to that which God reveals to us without conclusions one way or another about what God may be asking of or reveal to others. 

We respect and affirm all other groups that profess and try to act in the light of the Christian Faith, and we will cooperate with them whenever that seems in accord with God's guidance for us. 

We further respect and affirm the convictions of those who sincerely believe in other religious faiths and who conscientiously search for and/or experience some portion of God's truth. We will seek friendly dialogue, for mutual understanding and enrichment. We will share that which is true in our experience, and ask others to do the same for us as we seek to grow in love for all people, as God through Jesus asked us to do. 

We seek to minister to, witness to, and convert all persons who are hungry for, or open to the revelation, love, and salvation of God in Christ. We do not seek members already active in other churches. 

Recognizing that "no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3), we are an open and affirming church. In the spirit of Christian love, we gladly welcome into our midst any person who seeks Christian fellowship regardless of race, age, gender, or sexual orientation. 

We recognize the inherent rights of free people before God, and the granted rights and privileges of our citizenship entail a responsibility for us as long as we live here. We will endeavor to relate our lives as Christians to our lives as citizens of our community, our country and our world.

 

Shadow Rock UCC • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
Whereas, we are called, in faith, to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to act as agents of reconciliation and wholeness to all; and 

Whereas, churches often say they welcome everyone; gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, their family and friends have learned that this message most often does not include them; and 

Whereas, we the church, as a social conscience of our culture, believe it incumbent upon us, in faith and action, to strive to end the discrimination, violence, fear, ignorance and hate of any person or group of people which serves to divide and separate any of us from the dignity, love, and compassion which brings us closer to God; and

Whereas, we avow that: “we covenant one with another to be that sensitive and responsive part of human society which perceives and responds to God’s newest thrust in the midst of history”;

pledge that: “the uniqueness and greatness of every life is radically affirmed”; 
realize that: “our task together demands a comprehensive view of life, always pointed intentionally to the future”; 
hold that: “our life together will involve us individually and corporately in study and worship, always maintaining a proper balance between proclamation of the word about life with the deeds which make life good”; 
affirm that: “those activities which eliminate age barriers, cut across religious dogma, reduce cultural parochialisms and engage secular people with life’s ultimate possibilities will be worthy of our best efforts”; and 

Whereas, the United Church of Christ Open and Affirming text, as enriched and supported by local churches, publicly declares a welcome and loving acceptance to people of all sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church including equal access to its sacraments and rites, pastoral care, worship, leadership and employment; we, 

Therefore, Shadow Rock Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in faith, and by the grace of God, publicly declare the same loving and welcoming acceptance into our community of faith, the diversity of all people of every age, economic condition, gender, marital status, opinion, physical and mental ability, race, religious background and sexual orientation.

 

Shepherd of the Hills UCC • Phoenix, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:  
The mission of Shepherd of the Hills, United Church of Christ, is to inspire love for God and neighbor. We reach out to all people with meaningful worship, Christian education, and opportunities for service. We are an open and inviting church with a concern for community-wide social justice. Our members are active stewards, investing themselves and their resources in the Church’s mission. We welcome new members, involving them in our Church life as we share the Gospel and our faith. We seek to know God’s presence in our lives through humility, openness, and devotion. 

The congregation has affirmed that in our Mission Statement, where it says, 'all people', we mean everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, socio-economic status, and physical, mental, emotional ability or disability and thus declare ourselves to be an 'open and affirming congregation.'

 

Sun Lakes United Church of Christ • Sun Lakes, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
We declare that the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming Congregation. We, the Members and Friends of SLUCC are committed to the struggle for justice, love and inclusiveness for All People with the example of  the love of God & Jesus as our guide.  We are committed to extend an extravagant welcome to each and every person we meet or who comes to our Church regardless of national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental situation, economic or marital status.

We are inclusive in our invitation to participate in the ministry of the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ community of faith. 
We encourage all members to actively share their friendship, talents, gifts and energy in the liturgy, life, employment and leadership of Sun Lakes United Church of Christ.  All are invited to participate in the full life of the Church including the sacraments of baptism and communion and ceremonies of marriage or covenant.

 

United Churches Fellowship • Nogales, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
United Churches Fellowship-UCC, Nogales, is an Open and Affirming congregation. With God’s grace, we seek to include all persons without regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious heritage, education, or physical or mental ability, socio-economic background or marital status. We welcome all to share fully in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, and challenges of our congregation. So no matter where you are on life’s journey, no matter your reason for seeking God, you are welcome here.

 

Yuma UCC • Yuma, AZ

Open and Affirming Statement:
We the members of the Yuma United Church of Christ, acknowledging the Gospel message of God’s extravagant welcome to all humankind, covenant to be a congregation open and accessible to all people who suffer intolerance in the wider world. In particular we aim to be especially welcoming to those of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender into the full life, membership, leadership and employment of this church. We commit to doing all possible to achieving this goal. 

Objectives for achieving the goal: 
We commit to on-going efforts to educate ourselves about issues of importance to those who so identify, to try to discern specific ways that our faith community can change the way we do things, or try new ways, to make GLBT persons feel truly safe and welcome in this congregation, and to seek effective ways in which we can struggle to end the oppression of these persons in the wider society. We commit to increase our use of inclusive language in hymns and liturgy. We commit to listen to God’s leading; we commit to listen to the voices of those who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender.

 

NEW MEXICO

Church of the Good Shepherd • Albuquerque, NM

Open and Affirming Statement:
Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ, is an Open and Affirming congregation. We seek to be inclusive of all persons without regard to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, marital status, economic status, and personal ability. We recognize the diversity of human nature as a part of God’s universal plan, and affirm all families and relationships founded on love, respect, responsibility and trust. We welcome into the full life and ministry of our church all those who seek Truth through Christ’s teachings.

 

First Congregational Church • Albuquerque, NM

Open and Affirming Statement:  
First Congregational United Church of Christ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seeks to serve as a sign and symbol of God’s love for the world. We are a people of hope, who reach out with a radical openness to the diversity of God’s gifts. 

In this spirit, we seek to reconcile with those who have been condemned and injured by the Church, and covenant to stand with them in their struggle for equality and justice. We lovingly welcome all who have suffered discrimination or have been disenfranchised from the religious community into the full communion and ministry of this church. 

We confess that the Church has often judged and excluded gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, and those individuals who are questioning their sexual orientation. We confess that we have been complicit by our silence. We confess the presence of ignorance, fear, and hatred – in ourselves, in the Church, and in society. 

We ask the grace of God to overcome this complicity of silence. We ask the grace of God to overcome ignorance, fear, and hate. Our fervent prayer is that all people in our congregation will stand firm in the assurance that Christ’s redemptive love enfolds us all. 

We affirm diversity in our members, in our staff, and in our leaders. We believe that diversity brings us strength and a greater awareness of God’s creation. 

Therefore, we declare ourselves an Open and Affirming Congregation in the United Church of Christ.

 

First Christian Church • Las Cruces, NM

Open and Affirming Statement (adopted in 2004):
Celebrating Diversity: We are an open and affirming community. In Christ's example, we want to offer all persons, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation, the opportunity to discover and develop their gifts of God's love and service. Our church family encourages diversity and freedom. We find ways to worship, work, study, and fellowship together, honoring Christ's prayer for us ..."that they may all be one" (John 17:21).

 

Silver City United Church of Christ • Silver City, NM

Open and Affirming Statement:
Who Is Welcome Here?
If you identify as Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Anglo, mixed-race, or any race...
You are welcome here. 
If you identify as male, female, or transgender...
You are welcome here. 
If you're three days old, thirty years old, or one hundred and three years old...
You are welcome here. 
If you've never set foot in a church, if you're a baptized Roman Catholic, if you're a Buddhist who finds Christians interesting, if you're agnostic, if you're spiritual and not religious, or if you're a life-long UCCer...
You are welcome here. 
If you're single, married, divorced, separated, or partnered...
You are welcome here. 
If you're lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight...
You are welcome here. 
If you're a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, a Socialist, or not registered to vote...
You are welcome here. 
If you have addictions, mental illness, phobias, a criminal record, or secrets...
You are welcome here. 
If you've had a biological child, adopted a child, fostered a child, don't have a child, or have had an abortion...
You are welcome here. 
If you own your home, rent, live with your parents, live on a friend's couch, live out of your car, or are homeless...
You are welcome here. 
If you consider yourself fully-abled, differently-abled, or disabled...
You are welcome here. 
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!

 

St. Paul's United Church of Christ • Rio Rancho, NM

Open and Affirming Statement:
The members of St. Paul’s are caring Christians who recognize that Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves without being judgmental nor disparaging of others on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, level of education, faith, marital status, or physical disability.  

We should extend welcome and Christian fellowship to all seekers of Christ without fear, prejudice or discrimination. The members of St. Paul’s acknowledge the image of God in every person. We rejoice in the sacredness of life and we proclaim and celebrate God’s wondrous love for all persons.

 

United Church of Santa Fe • Santa Fe, NM

Open and Affirming Statement:
We know that, as Christians, we are many individual members, each with different gifts to offer and contributions to make. We know also that we are one body in Christ, members of one another. With Jesus, we affirm that we are called to act as agents of reconciliation and wholeness within the church and within the world.  

As an expression of the practice and conviction of this congregation, we declare ourselves to be an “open and affirming church,” welcoming people who share a faith journey with Christ, and who share with us the covenant that binds us together regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic background, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation.  

We commit ourselves to caring and concern for our lesbian, gay and bisexual sisters and brothers by affirming that:  

We believe that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals;

We welcome lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to our congregation in the same spirit and manner by which we welcome all other members and visitors.

 

TEXAS

Revolution United Church of Christ • El Paso, TX

Open and Affirming Covenant:
Revolution is an Open and Affirming church.  
       We celebrate all who seek the experience of God's unconditional love.  
               We invite all to participate fully in the life of our church regardless of, but not limited to, their
                      ability, age, culture, economic status, education, ethnicity, family status, gender, gender
                                identity, national origin, race, religious heritage, sexual orientation or skin color. 
No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.