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An Open & Affirming Congregation
In January 2007 the Central Council commissioned a group of church members as the Open & Affirming Task Force. This group met over the following months, reviewing various materials, meeting with other churches, our staff, and conducting education sessions for our congregation, among other activities.
In January 2009 they met with the Central Council, reported on the progress, and developed a statement which was finalized and then unanimously approved by Central Council on February 3, 2009. The Statement was presented and overwhelmingly received and supported by those in attendance at the Annual Meeting of the congregation on February 22, 2009.
The following Open & Affirming Statement is a statement of welcome to all people, and will let our light shine from the inside out, making a public witness that our Church is committed to the kind of inclusive grace that our Lord calls us to share.
The following statement, which was enthusiastically affirmed, officially designates Federated Church as an Open and Affirming congregation:
We, the members of The Federated Church of Chagrin Falls, Ohio believe that God is still speaking and we seek prayerfully to discern God’s plan for us today. Acknowledging God’s acceptance of us and Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, we affirm our belief that we are one body in Christ.
We welcome people of all races and ages, mental and physical abilities, marital status, gender or sexual orientation. We invite those from different backgrounds of economic class, ethnicity, and varieties of thought, expression and religious tradition to join us in our worship and to participate in the full life and ministry of our church.
We celebrate the diversity of God’s creation and believe that every person is uniquely made in God’s image. We embrace the joy of being accepted and affirmed by God and by one another.
We strive for justice and inclusiveness following Jesus’ example of love.
To learn more about God's Extravagant Welcome and the UCC Coalition for LGBT concerns or to find other Open & Affirming UCC churches, click here