North Christian Church’s Identity Statement was voted on by the congregation on November 2, 2014. The vote was “Yes.” 29 votes, “I have reservations, but I do not want to stand in the way of the church declaring itself an Open and Affirming Congregation.” 3, “I have reservations.” 0, and “No.” 0.
The Elders and General Board had designated that 85% of the total votes cast needed to be in the first two categories to achieve consensus for declaring North Christian Church an Open and Affirming Congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and thus the vote carried the consensus.
Because we affirm with holy scripture that all people are created in the image of God, we affirm that all persons have worth, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Because we are a Christ-centered church, we seek to follow Christ’s two commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves—whether that neighbor is like or unlike us. In Christ the dividing walls of discrimination are removed, and there are no barriers to those who seek membership.
Because we are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us, celebrating there with thanksgiving the savings acts and presence of Christ. We hear a special calling to make visible the unity of all Christians, proclaiming that in our diversity we belong to one another because we commonly belong to Christ. With all our differences, in age, ability and physical condition, in race, cultural background and economic status, in sexual orientation, gender identity and family structure, God receives each one with loving kindness and joy.
Because we are an invitational church, we affirm Christ’s unconditional invitation to all persons to seek a personal relationship with God through him.
Because we are an intentionally inclusive church, we value all loving relationships among people, and affirm that love is found in friendships, parent-child relationships, gay and straight relationships, and families created by birth or by choice.
Because we have received the gift of ministry as part of the universal church, we participate in God’s mission to heal the brokenness of creation and to bring justice and peace to the whole human family. This includes promoting human rights and opposing oppression wherever it may be found in the world.
Therefore, we hereby affirm our commitment to the basic principles of our faith by declaring North Christian Church an Open and Affirming Congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a congregation which welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons into our community of faith. We pledge to work for the day when society will welcome all in the same way Christ welcomes.
This statement draws upon the language of the following documents:
Statement of Reconciliation, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Ithaca, New York, Preamble to the Design of the Christian Church(Disciples of Christ), We are Disciples Identity Statement, and An Invitation to Community, First Christian Church, Bloomington, Indiana
Drafted by Open and Affirming Allies of North Christian Church, August, 2012
Approved by the Elders, July 1, 2013
Approved by the General Board, February 24, 2014