As followers of Jesus Christ, we, the members and friends of the Congregational Church of Amherst, New Hampshire, United Church of Christ, are a diverse community coming from many personal and faith backgrounds. We covenant together, in mutual respect and love, to discern God’s purposes for us and for our church.
- We believe that God calls us to welcome all persons, enthusiastically and without any preconditions, to full participation in our common faith journey as a church.
- We believe that God calls us to be transformed, through worship, study, prayer, Christian education, fellowship and service, into ever more complete and faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
- We believe that God calls us to go out into the world as disciples and servants, sharing the Good News of God’s love with all people as we actively live out our faith.
- We pledge to continue to listen for the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit in our midst, in the ways we conduct our life together as the church of Jesus Christ.
We are an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ. In November 2010, we adopted our official Welcome Statement and we have been working to grow our understanding of what being inclusive truly means ever since.
Open and Affirming means that a church has publicly and specifically declared that all people in the LGBTQIA+ community are welcome in this church’s full life, fellowship and ministry. ONA isn’t a term of tolerance or mere acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people; it expresses a spirit of radical hospitality and a willingness to live out that welcome in meaningful ways, through church membership, leadership, and ministry.
Open and Affirming is a validation of the “full humanness” of persons who are LGBTQIA+. It is also an acknowledgment that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is no barrier to God’s love or full participation in Christ’s church. It is about acknowledging that God’s love, Christ’s church and the Spirit’s power are for people of every color, age, ethnicity, gender identity, economic status, and ability.