Open & Affirming
East Side Congregational United Church of Christ has chosen to be an “Open and Affirming” congregation. But what does that mean? First, and foremost, it means we engaged in a process to understand what the United Church of Christ means by “Open and Affirming”. Then we drafted our own “Open and Affirming Statement” that describes what it means for our congregation and those who might choose to participate in our faith community. Lastly, once the statement was finalized, the congregation formally voted to approve it, and then live it out as part of our church’s way of life.
East Side Congregational UCC’s “Open and Affirming Statement” is as follows:
“We, the people of the Binghamton East Side Congregational United Church of Christ, declare ourselves to be open and affirming of all of God’s children. We celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of each expression of God’s diverse family as well as our oneness in Christ. As we seek to live out our mission “to nurture the church family in faithfulness to Christ, and faithfully minister to the Binghamton community and beyond,” we welcome into our community persons of every gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental and physical ability, age, race, nationality, economic and social status, faith background, marital standing and family structure; and we invite them to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, blessings and joys of our congregation as we seek to grow together in faith and love.”
The United Church of Christ believes that “no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Our “Open and Affirming Statement” is but one way we try to live that out as people of faith.