[This statement was approved by Congregational vote on May 22, 2011]
“Jesus said to them ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” – Matthew 22:37-39
Having been led by the Spirit of the still speaking God, the members of the First Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, Park Ridge, New Jersey, hereby declare that we are an Open and Affirming congregation, actively expressing Our Lord’s inclusive embrace of all people.
This statement is a public affirmation that embraces the tenets of Jesus who taught us that all people are equal in the eyes of God, and that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We invite and welcome into our community persons of every gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability, age, race, nationality, economic and social status, faith background, marital standing, and family structure.
We welcome all people to join in the common life and mission of our church. We strive for justice and equality for all of God’s children in our journey of faith and we do not tolerate discrimination against any group of people.
As we all move forward with the work of this church, we commit ourselves to making justice and inclusivity a reality in this congregation and in the world. On the threshold of Christ’s open door, we rely upon the healing, unconditional nature of God’s love and grace to be our help and guide.
Therefore, no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome in this Church.