Our Journey To Become An Open and Affirming Church
As a committee, we knew we had a responsibility to answer the congregations questions and concerns. At our first meeting on April 14, 2005, the committee viewed the video, “Open and Affirming, a Journey of Faith. This video told the story of how three neighboring churches handled the process of educating themselves and their congregation about what it means to become an ONA church.
Rev. Dr. Mike Holland, Pastor of the Church of the Foothills, a UCC/DOC Church in Orange/Tustin, joined our May 11 Committee to guide us and answer questions we had prepared for him. One of the most important questions was “aren’t we already “open and affirming?” and “why do we have to go through this process?”. His answer: “It is the civil rights issue of our time. It is at the heart of the gospel. UCC has been part of the civil rights issues throughout the past century, including suffrage, equal gender roles in the church, and affirmation of gays and lesbians as clergy.
The ONA Task Force began to plan a series of educational presentations. Besides offering the video, “Open and Affirming, a Journey of Faith” on numerous dates throughout October, we planned informative speakers. On September 18, Rev. Mike Holland was our guest preacher. Following the service there was a presentation by Rev. Holland and some lay people from his church, which was followed by Q & A time. On October 23, 30, and November 13, Rev. Dr. Ron Farmer, a biblical scholar who was the Dean of the Chapel and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman University, presented a three part series on The Bible and Homosexuality.
to be continued…
There will be a special service celebrating the anniversary on Sunday, June 26