Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) designation for congregations 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. Moderator Gary Dohrer has called a special congregational meeting for Sunday, June 16, after worship at the request of the LGBT Affairs Team. The purpose of the meeting is to vote on the following statement:
Statement of Openness and Affirmation
We seek to be a community of Christian believers who respect one another’s differences regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or family structure.
We welcome all individuals – be they lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or heterosexual – and all families – be they single parents, couples, nuclear, blended, extended or stepparents – as they strive to function faithfully in response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Christ’s principles of love, justice, grace and mercy.
Congregational United Church of Christ, Ogden, Utah, declares itself to be Open and Affirming of women and men of all ages, races, abilities and sexual orientations who desire to share in its services, its leadership and its activities.
Leading up to this vote, the LGBT Affairs Team led a series of programs on Sunday afternoons. The programs were attended by more than 20 people each week, an outstanding turnout. Pat Gamble-Hovey of Holladay United Church of Christ was instrumental in helping the team plan and carry out the programs. Guests from as far away as Pennsylvania (Steve Damon’s son, Fred) attended to help shed light on what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, raise a family, come out to family and friends, and live a life of faith. During worship on May 19, Mona Stevens, also of Holladay UCC, delivered a touching and heartfelt message about her own journey as a lesbian. We are grateful for their participation!
The LGBT Affairs Team consists of Marty Mayo and Tom Szalay (co-chairs), Leslie Chevalier, Steve Damon, David Guymon, Kevin McCloskey and Tim Sharp. Please thank them for all of their hard work!