Open & Affirming Statement
The rainbow stripes on the signs outside Village Church have meaning to those who see them as a sign of welcome to people of any race, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation. Following the example of Jesus, at Village Church we proclaim a gospel of extravagant love and welcome that extends to everybody—gay and straight, young and old, educated and less educated, rich and poor, believers and doubters, sinners and saints.
The rainbow signs also have deep meaning to the members of the congregation who participated in the congregation’s discernment to become an Open and Affirming congregation in the 1990s. In 1992, the congregation adopted an Open and Affirming statement that was accepted by the Massachusetts Conference and the national United Church of Christ. In 1998, that statement was amended for greater inclusivity, and the following statement was accepted as our Open and Affirming policy:
“In harmony with the United Church of Christ General Synod of 1985 and the Massachusetts Conference Annual Meeting of 1984, we declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming Church. We welcome and accept all people of any race, gender, nationality, ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation. We openly support full participation of everyone in the life and programs of this Church. We affirm the rights of all persons, just as Christ accepted all people he encountered. We believe that in meeting each other in Christian love, God’s spirit frees us all to give, to grow, to be ourselves.”
Our congregation strives to live out the words of our statement by offering warm hospitality to all who come into our midst and by affirming the worth and dignity of each person who enters our doors.