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Important Points to Ponder

  • We believe that all people are created in the image of God and as such, are loved by God.
  • We do not see homosexuality as an issue to be confronted. We see homosexuals as persons loved by God and part of the world in which we live. We cannot love an issue. We can only love people. Gays and lesbians are people we know and love.
  • Sexual orientation is only part of the Open and Affirming commitment. We welcome everyone regardless of race, creed, age, gender, ability, sexual orientation and economic status.
  • We want to be reflective of the world we live in and affirm the gifts and abilities of everyone without asking them to hide a part of themselves.
  • We believe that the Bible points us to God, but that the Bible is not God.
  • We believe that the Bible needs to be interpreted in the context in which it was written and interpreted for our context as well.
  • We believe that the Bible was never intended to end the conversation but to encourage it. God did not fall silent after the writing of Revelation and the canonization of scripture. If so, we would still have slaves, and women would be seen and not heard. In the words of John Robinson, a Pilgrim and forbearer of the UCC, "God has yet more light and truth to break forth out of his holy Word."
  • We believe that hate is not a Christian value. Some Christians carry signs that read "God hates fags." Some children of God have been murdered simply because they were gay. We cannot remain silent in the presence of hatred.
  • Teenagers who are gay or lesbian are 2 to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide and they account for 30% of completed suicides among teens today. One in four homosexual youth are kicked out of their homes and forced to live on the streets.
  • Many of us have co-workers, friends and family who are gay or lesbian. Many of those people were baptized as infants and children in churches who have since denied them as adults because of their sexual orientation.
  • Many Christian denominations have a corresponding movement like Open and Affirming, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the Disciples of Christ, the Alliance of Baptists, Dignity USA (Catholic Church), the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church and many more.
  • We do not pretend to have all the answers or to understand all there is to know about sexuality and sexual orientation. We do know that we are called to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • If asked about being a "gay" church, simply say we are Jesus' church or Christ' church. Keep the focus on welcoming everyone and God will take care of the rest. Be patient as this may be the first time some people have even had the courage to talk with someone. And please contact Pastor Barbara or a council member if you have any questions or need assistance.