News from AllianceQ: January 2021

Northwest Christian Church, Columbus, OH, is Open & Affirming!

Northwest Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Columbus, Ohio, recently held a congregational vote to become an Open & Affirming congregation within our denomination.

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Wheeler, co-pastor with Rev. Cynthia Adcock, says, “We are excited finally to be at this point in our journey toward greater inclusivity!”

From the elders at Northwest Christian Church

The Open & Affirming process began in late 2018 when the elders were working on a statement of inclusivity and welcome. It became clear that being welcoming to the LGBTQ community means more than simply writing a statement. Thus began the journey below.
• A group of elders and congregation members attended a workshop sponsored by the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance (Winter 2019)
• The elders participated in a Bible study on Biblical models of inclusion and welcome (Summer 2019)
• A Sunday school book study on Brandan Robertson’s True Inclusion (Winter 2020)
• Shared webinars from Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance and the Disciples Seminary Foundation in the chapel and online (March 2020)
• A congregational survey was distributed, and data was collected from 94 members (September 2020)

Through our discernment and commitment to embodying the radical welcome of Jesus Christ, the elders have prepared the following welcoming statement:

At Northwest Christian Church, a congregation in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. We are called to welcome others as we have been welcomed by God. As Disciples of Christ we find our identity at the Lord’s Table, practicing open communion for all. We strive to be a people of grace, and we welcome all God’s children while diverse in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, economic status, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance, theological perspective, or any other identity. Inviting, welcoming, and embracing the family of God, we declare ourselves an Open and Affirming congregation.

AllianceQ celebrates with Northwest Christian Church whose O&A anniversary date is officially November 27, 2020.

If your faith community is interested in resources for the welcoming journey — beginning this journey or deepening the commitment to Open & Affirming ministry, contact Melissa@disciplesallianceq.org.

Virtual Building an Inclusive Church Trainings happening now

A Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) training helps you design and implement a journey for your faith community to publicly and intentionally welcome people of all gender expressions and sexual orientations. The training empowers congregations to create a grace-filled process towards becoming Open & Affirming, a process uniquely designed for the needs of each community.

Using the Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit, you will be equipped to deepen relationships throughout your faith community rather than spark debate or division. The Toolkit is an ecumenical resource with best practices, in its third edition developed by numerous Welcoming Church partners. Full details and training dates here: http://disciplesallianceq.org/bic-trainings/