Valley Community Church, UCC has adopted the Open and Affirming (ONA) stance of our denomination. ONA churches have each written and adopted an individual covenant to publicly declare their practice of inclusive welcome.
Valley Community Church’s ONA statement:
“Acknowledging our origins as the Santa Rita Community Church, we at Valley Community Church, United Church of Christ affirm our historic and ongoing call to be a place where all are welcome.
We also acknowledge the unfortunate history of Christian churches as places of exclusion and division. Knowing this history, and as a Christian family called to include, love and serve, we at Valley Community Church, United Church of Christ declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation.
We welcome all into the full life, ministry, sacraments, fellowship and leadership of our congregation regardless of race, gender, age, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical, mental or emotional ability or disability, economic or marital status, political persuasion, or faith background.
We strive in every generation, by the grace of God, to meet our historic call to be a place where all are welcome.”
Members have affirmed that the welcome at Valley UCC has been real, loving, and life-giving. As one member said: “To be warmly welcomed regardless of ‘who you are or where you are on life’s journey’ was enough to move me to tears of wonderful relief, and extreme gratitude.” From another member: “Growing up in a small rural community in the Midwest, I never dreamed of being accepted in a church for all that I am. I’m extremely proud to be part of the UCC, the first Christian denomination to truly accept and love all of God’s children. And I’m proud of my church for its bold move to publicly proclaim our ONA status; this is a powerful witness, stepping out into the light.”
The Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, of which Valley Church is a member, is an ONA Conference. See the Southwest Conference ONA information on their website: http://www.uccswc.org/Resources/ona.htm.
Get your ONA questions answered on the national UCC website: http://www.ucc.org.lgbt/ona.html#FAQ_about_ONA.