Jesus didn't turn people away, neither do we.

We affirm each person as a child of God and we invite everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ability or financial situation, to walk with us in a faith journey responsive to God’s call.  The breadth and treasure of the full ministry of this church is available to all people who would share in our covenant.

***

Our Open and Affirming Resolution- adopted May 19,1996

Memorial Congregational Church deeply values its racial, ethnic, theological and ideological diversity. We are purposeful in our intent to respect and encourage the gifts of all people without regard to race, sex, nationality, age, ability, or financial situation.

We offer the breadth and treasure of the full ministry of this church, to all people who share in our Covenant. In worship and in ceremony we support each other in the important transitions and passages of our lives.

Many people have felt the pain of repeated rejection in the past and do not know that our welcome applies to them. This is particularly true of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. This resolution should make it plain that we open our hearts and minds to them. Because we believe that sexual orientation is not, and should not be, a reason for excluding anyone from our church, we are called to offer this resolution.

The Words of the Resolution

Be it resolved:

Memorial Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming Church. We welcome into membership all people who would share our faith journey. When we use the word “all” we specifically and implicitly include gay, lesbian and bisexual people, and others who have experienced rejection.

Subject only to the usual guidelines, our clergy may assist and officiate at ceremonies for gay, lesbian and bisexual couples. We stand ready to support such families, as we do all others, in these significant moments.

We honor Christ’s call to unity by this resolution and by our Covenant; recognizing that there is yet more truth and light to break forth from the word of God. Through this resolution we continue to walk together in the search for that light.

***
rainbowcommawithwords

AMENDMENT TO OUR RESOLUTION OF OPENNESS AND AFFIRMATION:
INCLUDING TRANSGENDER PERSONS – Adopted May 19, 2013

As believers in a Still Speaking God, we recognize our call to periodically examine our ministries to ensure that we continue reaching out to all who have experienced rejection and offering an extravagant welcome.  Since the 1996 resolution, our society has continued to evolve in understanding the continuum of human biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.  In response, we re-examined our original resolution.

Our study of Hebrew and Christian scripture has discovered numerous affirmations of the goodness of all creation and the love of God for all people, including Acts 9:27-38 which demonstrates Christian acceptance of people who are not within a gender binary.

Because we believe God has created human beings as creatures who are richly diverse and who identify and express themselves in many complex ways, including male and female but not limited to those two categories, we are called to offer this amendment

The Words of the Amendment

Memorial Congregational Church amends its Resolution of Openness and Affirmation, originally adopted May 19, 1996 to include “transgender persons and persons of all gender expressions and identities.”

In practice:

  1. We will continue to grow in our awareness of issues and concerns that affect persons of all gender identities and will strive to provide a safe, loving community by our actions and policies, including but not limited to the following: providing male, female, and gender neutral restroom facilities; providing blank spaces for “gender” on informational forms instead of a finite number of choices; being aware of our language choices in our communication, rituals, and conversation; and speaking out for justice for persons of all genders.
  2. We will continue to examine our ministries to ensure that we are serving all who have experienced rejection.