Open and Affirming Statement
Adopted March 18, 2001
"… in Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one…" Galatians 3:28
In the spirit of Paul's words in Galatians we recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the diversity in which God created us, each in God's image and loved by God. We deplore the continuing injustice of institutionalized discrimination, instances of senseless violence and denial of human rights based on sexual orientation. The church is called to confront discrimination, to oppose violence and to advocate for human rights for all people. With this declaration we remember God's promise spoken through the prophet Hosea,
I will show love to those who were called unloved
and to those who were called "not-my-people"-
I will say "you are my people,"
And they will answer "you are our God."
As such we declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation. We welcome into full membership, in accordance with the by-laws, the participation in Immanuel United Church of Christ people of every age, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, and economic status. We encourage all members to participate and share talents and energy in the worship, work, and witness of the congregation. By full participation we would include as examples the following:
1. The celebration of Weddings for same-sex couples.
2. Service as teachers for Christian Education classes and leaders of youth activities;
3. Participation in all committees and service in all offices;
4. Equal consideration for all employment opportunities.
We believe human sexuality is God's good gift. We affirm committed relationships and partnerships founded on mutual trust, respect, responsibility, nurture, and love. As followers of Christ we seek by this affirmation to be faithful to his commandment, "love one another as I have loved you." John 15:1