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For 17 years we have been

OPEN & AFFIRMING

What does OPEN and AFFIRMING Mean?

We are a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation that welcomes persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations to the table of Christ’s communion and to the full life and leadership of the Christian Church.

We do not use these attributes as a barrier to communion, membership, service, leadership, or employment in our ministry, nor as a barrier among those served.

A ministry is OPEN when it commits to communicating its welcome publicly.

A ministry is AFFIRMING when it commits to preaching and teaching a gospel which understands that God does not reject or condemn people solely for their gender expression or sexual orientation.

Does every member have to be open and affirming?

No.

 

We are Disciples, after all, and we don’t expect every member of our congregations to agree about much of anything!

Open & Affirming is an attribute of the congregation or ministry as a whole: what it teaches and preaches, how its members treat one another, how its members welcome newcomers, whom it serves, and what policies it adheres to when hiring, evaluating, and compensating staff

Graceful Engagement

Graceful engagement is a commitment to listen and honor another person’s faith. When we disagree with another graceful engagement invites them into further conversation. We don’t argue or debate, rather we honor where they are and invite them one small step at a time into deeper conversation.

Graceful engagement doesn’t use a resource to say “No, you’re wrong, and here’s the resource that explains why.”

 

Rather, graceful engagement encourages conversation; and when a question arises, graceful engagement offers a resource to answer the question – and to nurture the next question.

Messages from Our Pastor

Preparing this message was the most difficult of the series so far.  Emotions overwhelmed me multiple times as I researched the topic.  It’s only fair to warn you that the same may happen to you as you listen.

Back in AD 60, I choose to believe that Paul’s letter to the church in Rome worked; that it had the intended impact and harmonized the believers who were divided on issues of conscience and conviction. How much more beautiful, then, would it be if his words from two thousand years ago were similarly used today to help reconcile the church with the LGBTQ community.

What a powerful reversal that would be of how his words have been used in the past. May we one day be able to reimagine Paul’s opening words in Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes … to the straight, the gay, the lesbian, the bisexual, transgender, and queer.

Resources for Study and Inspiration

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Changing Our Mind

David P. Gushee

Christianity and Homosexuality Reconcile
Christianity and Homosexuality  Reconciled

Rev. Joseph Adam Pearson, PH.D.

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God and the Gay Christian

Matthew Vines

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Gay Girl
Good God

Jackie Hill Perry

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UnClobber

Colby Martin

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New Interpreter's Study bible

Walter Harrelson

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