Open and Affirming Covenant

An Open And Affirming Church

(by vote of the congregation March 8, 1992)

We, the members of Church of the Crossroads, are a diverse community of people. We differ in age, gender, abilities and sexual orientations. We hold varying theological and political beliefs and come from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. As a church community, we celebrate and find strength in that diversity and view it as a way to understand the inclusiveness of God.

We recognize that, within both the church and the larger society, persons who differ in gender, social and ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability, have historically suffered persecution and continue to experience negative stereotypes, indifference to their needs, and rejection.

We believe that, although we are many members, we are one body in Christ. As part of that body of Christ, we are called to love one another, to do justice, to bring release to the oppressed, and to walk humbly with our God. Responding to that call, one goal of our ministry is to heal the brokenness we experience in our relationships with each other and to witness our oneness in Christ to the larger world through the inclusiveness of our own church community.

Therefore, we now publicly declare ourselves an “Open and Affirming Church,” and set forth our beliefs and our intentions as a community of the faithful.

As regards social and ethnic background, we believe that we are “neither Greek nor Jew, male nor female” but brothers and sisters in the family of God. Our discipleship rests not on our age, gender, level of education nor on economic and social success, but on our ability to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We further acknowledge that the cultural differences among us are rooted in generations of human history, offering a testimony to the rich variety of human experience, and revealing the many ways in which God has been made known to humankind.

As regards sexual orientation, we believe that we are made in God’s image and that we are called to accept ourselves and our sexuality. Our sexuality is a gift of God which, when expressed in mutual love, enriches our lives and deeply touches the reality of our own and others’ humanity; it is one of the channels through which we experience life. All persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to express and receive human love and to receive the blessing of our church community in fostering committed relationships.

As regards persons of different abilities, we believe that each person is created in the image of God and is unconditionally loved as a child of God. The fullness of life experienced by an individual is determined by how one uses the talents and abilities entrusted by God. Each person is entitled to be treated with love and respect as part of he family of God.

We therefore commit ourselves, as a community of Christian people, to seek to end the continuing injustice of institutional discrimination, instances of violence, and denial of civil rights protection towards persons who differ in age, gender, social and ethnic background, sexual orientation and physical and mental ability. We affirm that all such persons are welcome within the life our church, to contribute their time, energy and gifts to our common mission, including its employment and the leadership of the congregation. Furthermore, we seek to understand and respond to their special needs as they seek personal integrity, acceptance by their families, the church and the community, and the development of committed partnerships.

Therefore, we, the Church of the Crossroads, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming Church.