Jesus didn't reject people, neither do we.

 

For most of us, the church is an extension of family and of home; a place that is safe, welcoming, accepting, and comfortable. But for many, the church was and still is a place of exclusion, hate, and discrimination. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community is and has been systematically discriminated against through public policy and religious teachings.

The adoption of this welcoming statement compels us to act, based on our faith values, to speak out against LGBT discrimination and discrimination of any kind. The statement also publicly asserts our steadfast belief in Jesus’ teaching of love over hate, inclusion rather than exclusion, community instead of isolation, and joyous affirmation rather than simple tolerance. 

Although the ONA movement is focused on the LGBT community, we have chosen to expand our Welcoming Statement to included and welcome all of God’s people regardless of race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, physical or mental ability, political affiliation, and economic or marital status. We have had the blessing of spiritual growth and opportunity within a caring faith community at Shiloh UCC; our Welcoming Statement publicly opens our doors to offer this blessing to all. 

 

We, the people of God at Shiloh United Church of Christ hold as our core value the worth and dignity of all persons as beloved children of God. Therefore, no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming into full membership and participation in the Body of Christ persons of every race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, physical or mental ability, and economic or marital status. We recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the many diverse people of the world. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to work diligently to end all oppression and discrimination that afflict any in our society. We commit ourselves to nondiscrimination in all facets of our life together. We will actively seek to include and support those who,because of fear and prejudice, find themselves in exile from a spiritual community. We pledge ourselves to be a wellspring of faith for all of God’s creation.

- Adopted by the members of Shiloh UCC on September 27, 2015