On Sunday, January 22, 2017, International Welcoming Church Sunday, the congregation of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bellingham, WA, voted to officially become Open and Affirming.
On this day we declared that we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ cuts across all barriers that fragment and divide us. We are called to love, affirm and welcome ALL regardless of race, gender, sexual and/or affectional orientation, class or life situation. We are an Open and Affirming congregation, which means that every individual is a child of God and has equal status in this congregation.
What is Open and Affirming? The Mission of the Open & Affirming Ministry Program is to build a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that welcomes persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations to the table of Christ’s communion and to the full life and leadership of the Christian Church. Open & Affirming Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have committed to openly welcoming and affirming persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations. ~ From http://disciplesallianceq.org/open-affirming-ministries/
What are all those letters? L: Lesbian -- A homosexual woman G: Gay -- A homosexual, especially a man. B: Bisexual -- A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender T: Transgender -- Denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender. Q: Queer -- Historically, this was a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBTQ+ people; A term that has been embraced and reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of pride, representing all individuals who fall out of the gender and sexuality “norms Or Q: Questioning -- The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, investigating influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations 2: Two-Spirit -- a term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders I: Intersex -- a person with a set of sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit within the labels of female or male (e.g., 47,XXY phenotype, uterus, and penis) A: Asexual -- a person who generally does not experience sexual attraction (or very little) to any group of people Or A: Ally -- a heterosexual person who supports the LGBTQ2IA community. ~ Adapted from MarieOlssonTIME