ONA Next: Best Practices for Thriving ONA Churches

ONA Next: Best Practices for Thriving ONA Churches

Below is a message and invitation from Andrew Lang, Exec. Director of the Open and Affirming Coalition for the UCC::

Dear Open and Affirming family!

“Coming out” is a turning point in the life of any LGBTQ+ person, the beginning of a new life of integrity and truth. For LGBTQ+ Christians, it often begins with the awareness that God loves us as we are—our bodies, our gender identity, our capacity to love and seek love in return. 

Coming out is also a force that changes lives: when we lose our fear, when we choose to live in the open, and not in the shadows, we can change the hearts and minds of our families and neighbors. We can begin to change the world.

Churches also can “come out.” This is the mission of Open and Affirming congregations in the United Church of Christ: to come out boldly and confidently in their communities, to stand with LGBTQ+ neighbors when their rights and dignity are under attack, to find new and creative ways to witness to the Gospel of God’s amazing love. 

When ONA churches come out, they are showing that their Open and Affirming covenant is not a private agreement, but a public testimony.

Your congregation can breathe new life into your ONA commitment by “coming out!” I invite you to join me on Nov. 16 for “ONA NEXT,” a webinar sharing best practices from vital ONA churches—churches that are making a difference because they are visible in their communities. Please see the link for more information and registration. Join this webinar on Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm ET

On this National Coming Out Day, we honor YOU: the 350,000 members of our more than 1,700 ONA churches and ministries who have come out—as LGBTQ+ persons, and as allies, friends and family. Your courage has brought healing and blessing to many others. You are changing the world.

Blessings and gratitude as you continue on your journey,

Andy Lang
Executive Director
Open and Affirming Coalition
United Church of Christ