HISTORY/HOW ONA TASK FORCE CAME TO BE:
Peter Lovett Pastor (ex officio)
We encourage conversations, feel free to speak to any of us!
ONA Covenant Statement
As proposed at the September 2023 Meeting/Motion Vote (Learn More Here)
First Congregational Church of Meredith, UCC, is a church with a welcome as big
as this building, a church with arms that stretch beyond these four walls; where
children are nurtured and seniors honored, and where bridges are built.
As an Open and Affirming church we welcome all; of any age, gender, sexual
orientation (LGBTQ+), race, culture, ability, or socio-economic status to every
aspect of our church life and leadership.
Whether you have an abundance of faith, just a shred of faith, or no faith at all;
whether you’ve been coming to this church for generations, or whether it’s your
first time; wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
Then as Christ has welcomed you, welcome one another in order to glorify God. Romans 15:7
From: Report of the ONA Task Force for the January 2024 Annual Meeting
During the first part of 2023, the ONA task force continued the work of providing the congregation with the rationale for accepting the challenge of becoming an Open and Affirming church. Drawing on the personal experience of those whose lives were being lived in the non cis-gendered, non-heterosexual, non-heteroromantic world, we sought to make their experience and perspective accessible to our congregation so that each of us would be able to understand why this expression of love and mission was and is so important to our work in the greater community.
As the year moved along, we worked on the wording of a proposed Open and Affirming Covenant and a motion for its adoption. We worked with the church council to schedule a special church meeting at a time when most of our members would be available to vote on that motion. We proposed to the church council that special rules be adopted for that meeting with respect to who would be eligible to vote, how the vote would be conducted, what percentage of the vote would be necessary to carry the motion. Those rules were adopted and followed.
The failure of the motion to be adopted by three fourths of those voting told us that we still had work to do: healing work, listening work, educational work. We accepted the request of the Church Council to continue that work, with the objective of bringing a new resolution and covenant to the church body for consideration when the congregation is ready to accept the challenge and task of becoming truly Open
The ONA Task Force seeks to provide information and resources as part of the on-going efforts to bring awareness and understanding and inviting conversations (questions/concerns) for what this means for our church and community. This section is updated monthly. Written and submitted by the ONA Task Force Members.