Open and Affirming (ONA) Exploratory Team


Why are we exploring ONA? Well, Beloved, the main reason is because this UCC distinction lives into our faith – our welcoming statement – our purpose – – and our mission. It lives into the love each of us reveal everyday. However, to fully understand why ONA, we may wish to look at what other Christian communities are doing or saying. For, most people do not know the difference between the UCC and the Baptist, Methodist, or any other church denomination which follows Christ. Most people simply see all Christians as the same.

Therefore, I invite you to read this article from right before the beginning of the pandemic with empathy. Read it and ask yourself, how would I feel about Christianity if I were LGBT+ and reading this article? The article is here:

Book Recommendations

“Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story” by Julie Rodgers – Outlove is about love and losses, political and religious power-plays, and the cost to those who sought to stay in a faith community that wouldn’t accept them. Shedding light on the debate between Evangelical Christians and the LGBTQ community–a battle that continues to rage on in the national news and in courtrooms across the country–this book ultimately casts a hopeful vision for how the church can heal.

Media Recommendations

“Pride” on Netflix – U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

“Pray Away” on Netflix – Former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma.

Meeting Updates

Fellowship this Sunday (10/17) is sponsored by the “Open and Affirming Exploratory (ONA) Team,” come and join us!!

The Team members are:

Jenny Pickett, Brian Donovan, Melissa Maas, Tim Wolfe, Christine Sylvain, Mike Detollenaere, Becky & Alexa Tivey, Toni Wellspring, Amy & Steve Chartrain

The ONA Team meets Tuesdays every 2 weeks at 6:30pm. We met this Tuesday 10/12 and the agenda was:

  • Committee reaching out to members of the church
  • Continued Education – online training (Webinars), 

ONA101 being held 10/26 and on 11/4

ONA and the Bible 11/2 and 11/11

ONA Next 11/16 which our committee will be attending together at the church 7pm

  • Discusse articles and also bible versus used against homosexuality
  • Our team is also exploring reaching out to the community, possibly the gay and straight alliance through the Salem High School

If you have any questions, please reach out to one of us.