photo by Skip Montello
Open and Affirming Statement
In the early 2000s, our Old Sloop congregation engaged with a critical issue involving social justice: discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and especially their historical mistreatement by the church. After years of prayer, hospitality events, educational panels, and deep study, on May 20, 2007, this congregation voted to become Open and Affirming/ONA. Our ONA Statement reads:
We, the members of the First Congregational Church of Rockport, are called upon to love each other as God loves us, freely and unconditionally. Therefore, we covenant to be an Open and Affirming congregation welcoming persons of every age, ability, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, and immigration status into full membership and participation in our community life and ministry. We embrace and support refugees, those seeking asylum, and those who experience rejection and exile from spiritual community and we commit ourselves to the struggle against injustice.
The UCC Statement of Faith
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ, and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image, and set before each on the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church, to accept the cost of joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen.
We covenant one with another to seek and respond to the Word and the Will of God. We purpose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known and to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshipping God, and striving for truth, justice, and peace. We depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the kingdom of God and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.
Covenant of Members
We, the members of this congregation, welcome you with gladness into our lives.
We renew our covenant of faith and offer you our support, encouragement, and love to the end that all of us may grow in the boundless mercy of God.
By loving and being loved, forgiving and being forgiven, serving and being served, let us go forward together with courage as Christ’s disciples, glorifying God by being fully alive.