open and affirming
We at Mira Vista affirm that we are all God's creation and we are all recipients of God's love. We welcome persons of all races, ages, cultures, abilities, incomes, vocations, genders, and sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of our church. As a congregation, we encourage human relationships that are based on principles of love and justice. We thank God for our diversity!
MVUCC Open and Affirming Statement
Adopted by Congregational Vote on April 10, 1994
"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ." Galatians 3:28
Affirming our deep faith in a God who welcomes, loves and is embodied among all persons, and affirming our own tradition as a warm and welcoming congregation, we, the members of Mira Vista United Church of Christ, join together as a covenant community to recognize and celebrate our diversity, and to share the reassurance that we are all equal participants in the love and grace of God.
The need for an explicit affirmation of our diversity has grown out of our twelve month congregational Journey Toward Understanding Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals. We have come to realize that gay and lesbian people are frequently exiled from spiritual communities and are rarely affirmed as full participants in the love of God or in the life of Christian churches, which causes untold pain and hardship for them and their loved ones. We recognize that at this time in our history, in order to be truly welcoming of all persons of our diverse culture, we must use deliberate words as well as deeds of love.
We recognize that we are called to follow Jesus in accepting persons as they are, created by God, and in honoring and loving all persons as we ourselves wish to be honored and loved. We believe that this acceptance, divine and human, of ourselves as well as each other, liberates us for change, growth, and courageous living. We want that same freedom and growth in Christ for all friends, old, new, and yet unmet.
In light of these recognitions, we publicly declare Mira Vista United Church of Christ (Congregational) an Open and Affirming Congregation and make the following statements:
1) We welcome persons of all races, ages, cultures, physical or mental abilities, incomes, vocations, genders and sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church. We affirm all God's people. As a congregation, we say YES to each other and help each other say YES to ourselves and to our God. We thank God for our diversity!
2) Out of concern for the future of the church and the future of humanity, we commit to the continuing education of ourselves and our children toward better understandings of our own prejudices, and toward a better understanding of loving and just human relationships. As Christians, we support all families in church and in society that are founded on principles of love and justice. We recognize and embrace: single, married, divorced and widowed persons, lesbian/gay relationships, as well as nuclear, extended and step families.
3) We will continue to seek together in the light of the gospel to define principles of human relationships and behavior that are based on relating to each other as whole persons, with love, responsibility, accountability, trust and mutual nurture. We believe that, if we continue on a journey toward understanding one another and ourselves as beloved ones of God, each person in our midst may experience greater freedom to discover, develop, claim and express his or her self and faith, and that the authentic expression of our lives will strengthen and invigorate our community.
We acknowledge that as a non-creedal congregation in the free church tradition, these statements are not presented as tests of faith or expressions of doctrine for individual members; we do hold ourselves to the standards of open behavior that are defined here.