Open and Affirming

New Vision United Church of Christ is composed of persons who, believing in God, and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and dependence of the Holy Spirit, are organized for Christian worship, for the furtherance of Christian fellowship, and for the ongoing work of Christian witness.

We, the members of New Vision United Church of Christ, believe that all persons are children of God and that persons of every race, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic background, physical/mental ability, socioeconomic status, and other differences that mark each of us are transparent in God’s love. We affirm all committed relationships that are based upon mutual trust, respect, responsibility, nurture and love. As such, all are invited to participate fully in the life and ministry of our church.

(NOTE: Here`s a very good video/audio from the Cathedral of Hope about what is really worth reading and hearing about. And there`s also this from Soulforce.)

We recognize that today, as in the past, whole communities of people are made unwelcome or ostracized, or excluded from participation in church life. We interpret Christ`s teaching to “love your neighbor as yourself” to reveal God`s intent that such exclusion is not for humankind.

We affirm that all persons have a right to testify their love for God and for each other before God, and pledge that our church home will be a haven where that testimony is recognized and cherished.

Therefore, we proclaim that New Vision United Church of Christ is an open and affirming congregation, which renews and strengthens its commitment to advocate justice and equality for all people in all areas of society and to resist intolerance in our midst.

FAQ, with answers from the UCC website:

1. What does “Open and Affirming” (ONA) mean?

Reflecting the Open and Affirming action of the General Synod (1985) and the Transgender action of the General Synod (2003), to say that a setting of the UCC (a local church, campus ministry etc.) is “Open and Affirming” means that it has publicly and specifically declared that those of all “sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions” (or “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender” people) are welcome in its full life and ministry (e.g. membership, leadership, employment, etc.) It bespeaks a spirit of hospitality and a willingness to live out that welcome in meaningful ways.

2. Why is “ONA” used for “Open and Affirming”?

“ONA” is the  all-caps version of “O ‘n A” (as in “salt ‘n pepper”).