Open & Affirming

Q: What can I expect in an ONA church?

A: A community of faith where you and your family are safe!

Because each congregation in the United Church of Christ is independent, and therefore free to make its own decisions, there is a broad diversity of theology and practice in our tradition. In the UCC, there is no hierarchy that can impose uniformity on our churches. Each ONA congregation has independently adopted an Open and Affirming covenant after a journey of dialogue, study and prayer. There are differences between congregations, but generally, an ONA church:

  • is a safe space for open and honest conversation about human sexuality and gender identity.
  • encourages LGBT members to serve in lay and ordained leadership.
  • offers weddings and blessing ceremonies to LGBT couples.
  • celebrates the anniversaries of LGBT married and partnered couples.
  • advocates for marriage equality and LGBT civil rights.
  • is willing to host meetings of support groups like PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
  • advertises that it is a safe space for LGBT and questioning youth.
  • participates as a group in the local LGBT Pride Parade.
  • celebrates ONA Sunday once a year and annually renews its ONA covenant.

From Open and Affirming Coalition