What does that mean?
The United Church of Christ’s (UCC’s) Open and Affirming (ONA) process began on a national level in 1985 when the Fifteenth General Synod (national delegate body of UCC) adopted the resolution: “Calling on United Church of Christ Congregations to Declare Themselves Open and Affirming. [to encourage] a policy of non-discrimination in employment, volunteer service, and membership policies with regard to sexual orientation; encourages associations, Conferences and all related organizations to adopt a similar policy; and encourages the congregations of the United Church of Christ to adopt a non-discrimination policy and a Covenant of Openness and Affirmation of persons of lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientation within the community of faith.”
On September 15, 2010, after many months of study and prayer, the congregation of Riviera UCC voted overwhelmingly to add the church to the UCC ONA list. Following is the mission statement the church agreed upon:
“We are an Open and Affirming Church, welcoming all with love into our life, leadership, ministry, community, worship, rites, sacraments, responsibilities, and blessings; including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, heterosexuals, and all others regardless of race, age, gender expression and identity, marital standing, family structure, socioeconomic status, profession, faith background, nationality, mental abilities, or physical abilities.”