About the UCC’s LGBTQ+ Ministries
The message of love and compassion, justice and peace are at the very core of the life and ministry of Jesus. Open and Affirming (ONA) ministries and resources are rooted in that Gospel message. The testimonies of these ministries proclaim the truth of God’s power to transform cultures of hate and violence into communities of healing and reconciliation. They give witness to God’s continuing testament and how the gifts of God are being liberated for service in the world.
The first national UCC body to affirm civil rights for LGBTQ people did so in 1969. The Council for Christian Social Action, a predecessor body to Justice andWitness Ministries adopted the “Resolution on Homosexuals and the Law.” In 1972, the UCC ordained the first openly gay person into ministry, the Rev. William R. Johnson. In 1985, the UCC’s General Synod declared itself to be “open and affirming” and called upon all settings of the church to become similarly poised to welcome LGBTQ persons as full members of the church. Click here for a timeline.
Although not everyone in the UCC is of the same mind concerning human sexuality*, the Open and Affirming (ONA) movement for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons continues to spread throughout all aspects of our denomination’s life and witness. There are now more than 1,700 ONA churches and increasingly, the values that shape the ministry and witness of UCC as we live out the UCC mission to love all, welcome all, and seek justice for all.