Late news: On April 7, 2013 our Pastor Rev. Ken Barnes, noting the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” preached an unequivocal sermon on the marriage equality struggle and its connection to the church’s historic tradition of fighting injustice of all kinds. You can listen to it here.
“Open and Affirming” (ONA) is a ministry of the United Church of Christ geared to helping member churches examine the barriers they may have erected, consciously or unconsciously, between themselves and some members of the community and to pursue an intentional process of removing them. In 1995, the members of FCCSR worked through this process and adopted the following statement of our intention to be an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information on the UCC’s national ONA program, click here.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (UCC) SAN RAFAEL’S COVENANT OF OPENNESS AND AFFIRMATION FOR ALL GOD’S PEOPLE
Our Congregation declares itself to be open and affirming of all God’s people.
By “openness” we mean
- That ANY AND ALL persons who wish to participate in our common life as a church are invited to join us in worship, fellowship, leadership, and in the cost and joy of Christian discipleship.
By “affirmation” we mean
- That we value all persons for their God-given attributes;
- That we affirm that social diversity enriches our faith community;
- That we believe all persons are born with God-given dignity and individual rights, and
- That we respect the rights of all persons to be and express who they are.
We oppose prejudice, discrimination, and exclusion wherever it occurs and pledge to work for justice, equality, and acceptance for ALL God’s people in society, especially those who have been excluded or discriminated against because of religious beliefs, race, gender, social class, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental limitations, or for any other reason. Any such exclusion is the antithesis of the Christian faith.
At this time, we have a concern for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons who often have not had the acceptance and support of their families, associates, church, and society. We declare that these persons are welcome in our midst and invited to full participation.
THEREFORE WE COMMIT OURSELVES to the Ministry of Reconciliation and Discipleship which God has given us. We declare that we are open, accepting, and glad to include all people who seek fellowship and community with our church family, “for we are all one in Christ Jesus.”