Statement of Inclusion

Affirmed by vote at Church Meeting, June 25, 2000 declaring the Church to be Open and Affirming

We, the members of the United Church of Christ, First Congregational of Norwich, New York, affirm our regard for the worth and dignity of all persons. We recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming into the life of the church persons of every age, race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental ability, economic status and family structure.

We accept our sexuality as a gift of God which enriches our lives and deeply touches our humanity. We acknowledge that throughout history the Christian church has often condemned and excluded gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons from the community of faith, or has condoned such condemnation and exclusion by its silence. We hold that such discrimination is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus, the Christ. We commit ourselves to work to end all oppression and discrimination which afflict God’s people. We affirm all relationships founded on the principles of God’s love and justice.

We commit ourselves to insuring that our place of worship is a safe place where all people will feel comfortable and know that they are accepted and loved without the threat of judgment or condemnation. We pledge to come together in Christ’s name to celebrate our diversity and discover our unity.