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Throughout our history, our Church has been a bold witness to God’s inclusion of all people. In 1965, during the civil rights crisis in America, we voted as a Church to be “open to all and closed to none.” This vote stated our openness to all people of any race. We have in the last three decades moved to be more fully inclusive by: involving women in all areas of life; opening our doors to the synagogue and deepening our relationship with the Jewish community; and receiving people into membership who have been baptized in ways other than believer’s baptism by immersion.
We as a Church are opposed to all forms of injustice and oppression and we are unafraid to plainly say who and what we are. Therefore, in keeping with the goals of our 2018 Live Forward Strategic Plan, we created and implemented an inclusive process for discerning how and when the Church will take timely, courageous, and public institutional stands on justice issues that express our growing knowledge of and deepening commitment to social justice.
Here are our Congregational Statements:
approved October 2001
At this point in our life together, we seek a fuller statement of our inclusiveness. We are a Church that believes in the worth of every person as the good creation of God and we are a Church committed to justice and peace in the civic realm. As such, we want to state our full welcome to all who wish to join us on our journey of faith. “Open to all and closed to none” means we welcome all persons without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic status, physical or mental capacity. We believe that God’s call, gifts, and blessings are given to all God’s people, and we embrace the Spirit of God that calls, gifts, and blesses.
Recommended by the Steering Committee for All Church Dialogue on Gay and Lesbian Inclusion
approved January 2019
Racism against African-Americans still permeates our systems, institutions, and churches. This racism continues systemic oppression that was instituted with slavery and was reiterated in the Jim Crow era. Today, this racism takes shape through mass incarceration, economic and social exclusion, and lack of access to education, healthcare, housing, and employment. As people of faith, we will work to educate on white privilege, to dismantle racism, and to denounce white supremacy in every iteration, until all people, regardless of race, are fully affirmed, welcomed, and included in the social and economic fabric of our society.
Recommended by the Faith & Justice SLG, the Strategic Planning Council, and the Board of Deacons