“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
WHAT, EXACTLY, IS OPEN AND AFFIRMING?
Open and Affirming (often abbreviated as “ONA”) is a specific designation of the United Church of Christ for congregations that have made a public covenant, and declaration of welcome into their full life and ministry, to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. The ONA designation reflects a history of faithful witness for LGBTQIA+ rights within the UCC, including the Open and Affirming action of the General Synod in 1985, and the Transgender action of the General Synod in 2003. It reflects a spirit of hospitality, a commitment to full inclusion and human rights, and a willingness to live out that “Welcome” in meaningful ways. It is consistent with the Welcome pillar of our strategic plan.
OUR OPEN AND AFFIRMING COVENANT
“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
We, the members of the Congregational Church of Hollis, United Church of Christ, believe that all people are created in God’s image and are loved, valued, and blessed by God. Understanding that repression and discrimination of any kind are incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are committed to the on-going work of inclusivity and discovering ways to live out our support and respect for all of God’s beloved children. This community of faith is an Open and Affirming congregation which welcomes persons of all races, ethnic backgrounds, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, physical and mental abilities, family structures, marital status, and socio-economic backgrounds. All are invited to fully share and participate in all aspects of our church life and leadership. For no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
WE ARE OFFICIALLY ONA!
On June 12, 2022, the congregation overwhelming voted to adopt our ONA covenant. On June 28, 2022 the Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ certified our ONA status, making our church the 58th ONA church in the New Hampshire Conference, UCC.