Open and Affirming

We are proud to be an Open and Affirming Congregation!

In 1985 General Synod of the United Church of Christ adopted an Open and Affirming (ONA) resolution – which encouraged all UCC churches to become ONA.  The Coalition began listing churches which responded to this call. In 1987, it established the ONA program to assist congregations in learning more about this witness, develop study materials, and provide support during their ONA process. Since that time, The ONA program has provided the primary leadership and resources for this growing movement which proclaims that LGBT persons are loved by God and that their gifts are an essential part of the community and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Our ONA Statement:

On July 18, 2004, First Congregational Church of Montclair New Jersey, declared ourselves to be Open and Affirming (ONA). In so doing, we wish to honor and embrace our founding principle that discrimination is incompatible with Christ’s gospel of unconditional love. We acknowledge that in the past the Christian church has often condemned and excluded  people because of race, culture, age, gender,   economic status, disability or sexual orientation. While the church has made progress in being open and affirming of many groups, there continues to be condemnation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons by the community of faith, or at least, a tolerance of such condemnation and exclusion through silence. We believe such actions are inconsistent with Christ’s teachings. With God’s grace, we seek to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religious upbringing, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, or socio-economic background. We recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the diversity in which God created us, each in God’s image and loved by God. We welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry and fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation.

Been Waiting for You – The NJ Chapter of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concern Been Waiting for You seeks to help local congregations, ministers, ministers-in-training, and all persons of faith to pursue openness and affirmation of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons within the New Jersey Association of the Central Atlantic Conference. To visit this website, please click here.

To read more on What the Bible says about Homosexuality, please click here.

Rev. Ann Ralosky and Rev. Heather Cherrey testified at the state capitol on behalf of marriage equality on January 24th, 2012, during the Senate Assembly.  Here is a video of their testimony, as well as the testimony of clergy from other congregations.

Clergy on Marriage Equality

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