Open & Affirming is a designation of the United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination. The term is used for churches that have undertaken a long-term, careful study of sexuality issues as they relate to Biblical teachings and, consequently, made the decision to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people into its congregation.
In 2007, CUF came to its decision to be Open & Affirming after a year and a half of study, discussion, movies, documentaries, panels and meetings, including three separate classes using Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality. This study helped the congregation comprehend the context in which the Bible was written and focus on a better understanding of the translations of passages which are sometimes used by Christian churches to proclaim that homosexuality is a sin.
During the many and varied church programs and discussions on homosexuality as the “hot topic”, small groups also thought about the many other ways in which people are excluded. This resulted in CUF’s inclusiveness statement, which was written and rewritten until the church felt it accurately reflected our thinking and beliefs.
Finally, after much study and prayer, a congregational vote was taken to adopt the statement. It passed unanimously. No one left the church because of this decision, and, since then, our congregation has continued to grow.
“Welcome to the Church of Universal Fellowship, a house for all people. We welcome persons of every age, background, circumstance, ethnicity, family configuration, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We believe that diversity enriches our faith community and that each of us has a right and responsibility to support one another as we search for the divine by living, learning, and growing.”
If…you like more questions than answers –
If…you enjoy worship with music and prayer –
If…you are liberal in theological ideas and practice
Welcome! to a church home that is striving to move forward by responding in word and deed to the Christian message as it relates to today’s issues.
Welcome! to a church home that is striving to exemplify the teachings of humility and hospitality.
Welcome! to a church that is learning together, worshiping together, and working together to support community building through justice and equity–both locally and around the world.
For more about our approach and philosophy, see our Touchstone.