Open and Affirming the official designation in the United Church of Christ (UCC) for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
The United Church of Christ filed a landmark lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Monday, April 28, 2014, arguing that North Carolina marriage laws restrict freedom of religion.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) argues that North Carolina marriage laws limit ministers’ choices, violate the principle of “free exercise of religion” upon which the church is built, and restrict the freedoms of religion and expressive association guaranteed in the First Amendment.
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Through our Wider Church
The United Church of Christ has long stood for unity in diversity long before the 1987 Resolution to become an Open and Affirming Church or the 2005 Resolution to support Equal Marriage Rights for All.
We are a church committed to active advocacy and support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. We extend to all people the welcome of the church in worship and sacrament, in congregational life, and in equal marriage rights for all.
Through the work of the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns, this mission of radically inclusive love continues to prophetically call on society to live in love with all of God’s people–regardless sexual orientation or gender identity. Continuing to share Christ’s love to all the people is one of the five historic commitments of the UCC, guiding us in our mission led by our still-speaking God.
Please visit the UCC Coalition website for the most up-to-date information on our work towards justice under the law and inclusion within our society and the world.
In Our Communities
In the United Church of Christ,we pride ourselves on the local autonomy of congregations. Through that voice of openness, 23 local congregations in the DC-Metro area have made public witness of their faith declaring their communities to be ONA. Several congregations have also made public witness in support of equal marriage rights for all. You can find these churches by using the “Find a Church” link on the menu above.
On October 22, 2011, delegates of the Potomac Association met at its annual Fall Meeting and voted on a resolution put before the Association by the Social Action and Mission Committee, to declare the Association open and Affirming.
This Resolution (as modified) was approved:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Potomac Association, Central Atlantic Conference, United Church of Christ, declares itself to be an open and affirming association.And in keeping with the resolution, the Potomac Association, shall adopt the following statement and display this statement in various forms of communication including print and on the association web site, when the full statement is desired. This statement shall be considered the primary expression of our Open and Affirming Commitment:“The Potomac Association values all of God’s children and welcomes the gifts that each brings to the association and to the local church. Responding to God’s still speaking voice and seeking to live out Christ’s extravagant welcome to all, the PotomacAssociation of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ declares itself itself an Open and Affirming (ONA) association. We embrace persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, races, cultures, ethnicities, ages, classes, or abilities in all aspects of association ministry.”