Open + Affirming
We take our radical welcome seriously. We understand that Christianity and the Bible have long been used as weapons against queer people, and we affirm that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are made in the image and likeness of God; just as they are. We believe that love between folks of any gender is beautiful and makes God more visible in the world. We reject the theology of “hate the sin, love the sinner” and “pray the gay away” and affirm that scripture actively affirms different sexuality and relationship styles.
Our congregants, pastors, and staff are made up of people having a variety of sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and relationship statuses. We invite folks to indicate their pronouns on their nametags, have a gender-neutral wheelchair-accessible bathroom, and are constantly working to check our assumptions about people's identities.
In 1998, we adopted the UCC’s “Open and Affirming” resolution, which proclaimed our church welcoming of LGBT folk into our full life and leadership, by unanimous consent:
We, the First Congregational Church of Somerville, United Church of Christ (long known as The Friendly Church), proclaim ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation. We celebrate the wide range of gifts found within a diverse community. We acknowledge that the Christian Church has often excluded people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We therefore commit ourselves to welcoming all people into the full life and ministry of the church regardless of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, or economic status. We continue to commit ourselves to the struggle against injustice in all forms.