Being an Open + Affirming Ministry

Open + Affirming Ministries are encouraged to participate in the Open + Affirming Ministry Program of AllianceQ and to further the Mission of the Open + Affirming Ministry Program in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the church ecumenical. There are many ways to participate and widen the welcome. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Hold at least one event per year celebrating your Open + Affirming commitment. This might be the anniversary date of your decision to become O+A or join with our ecumenical friends and celebrate International Welcoming Church Sunday on the fourth Sunday in January:
      • Include a special bulletin insert;
      • Use scripture, prayer, music, dance, and liturgy to highlight your O+A commitment;
      • Discuss your O+A commitment during a sermon;
      • Re-affirm your church’s O+A statement by reading it in unison during worship;
      • Take up a special offering to support AllianceQ;
      • Include an article in your church newsletter;
      • Celebrate with a colorful O+A anniversary cake;
  • Revisit your O+A statement to make sure it includes gender identity and gender expression and any other aspects of welcome that your congregation is discovering;

  • Consider what steps might be helpful to reinvigorate or extend your commitment to the LGBT community. For instance, is there a local LGBT community center that could use support from your mission funds?

  • Attend AllianceQ events.

  • Include a regular contribution to AllianceQ in your congregation’s annual mission and outreach budget.

  • Join AllianceQ as an individual and encourage others in your congregation to do the same.

  • Reach out to another local congregation that might be considering the O+A process.

  • Expand your understanding of welcome, increasing your understanding of your members and neighbors, striving to overcome barriers that separate us from one another.

  • Write articles for the Alliance newsletter and website:
    • About your congregation’s process of becoming O+A;
    • About your congregation’s experience after becoming O+A;
    • About why being O+A is important to you;
    • About what being a member of an O+A church has meant to you.
    • Be AllianceQ’s eyes and ears on the ground. Let the Alliance know when there’s a congregation that may be ready to become O+A, when there’s a need that we can attend to, when you learn more about welcome.
    • Make sure AllianceQ has your email address so that you get the newsletter and learn more ways to get involved and widen the welcome.