The Open and Affirming (ONA) Designation

An Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.First Congregational is proud to be an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ. Open and Affirming is the designation that the national United Church of Christ gives to congregations, campus ministries and other bodies within the UCC that have made a public covenant to fully welcome persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. You may read more about this designation at the Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ.

A same-sex couple seated in a worship service.First Congregational has a long history of acceptance and advocacy. We hold an attitude of inclusiveness that embraces diversity wherever we find it. We honor and value each person for who God created them to be in their whole person without attempting to “fix” or “change” anyone, and we have been privileged to celebrate same-gender weddings at our church for over twenty years.

We received the ONA designation after devoting a year to exploring the diversity of our multifaceted congregation. This process culminated in the acceptance of our identity statement, which was adopted on September 7, 2014.

First Congregational Identity Statement

We are The Church of the Open Door, a Christian community called by God through the life and teachings of Jesus to grow in Spirit, to share our faith experiences, to serve others, to promote hope and peace in the world, and to welcome all God’s people.

In worship and study, we explore and develop our understanding of God, our faith, our church, and ourselves.

In acts of service and advocacy, we challenge injustice, deepen our compassion for others, and work individually and collaboratively toward a world that is fairer and more equitable.

In relationships, we open ourselves to all the people of God. We accept ourselves and each other as we are, with needs and blessings that are physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social.

As an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, we celebrate a diverse congregation. We welcome into full participation people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, creed, background, life experience, and physical or mental health and capability. As we proclaim every Sunday, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here."

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