Is your church considering becoming Welcoming and Affirming, but you’re not quite sure how to articulate your congregation’s stance?
Below is a repository of some sample welcoming and affirming statements by member congregations of AWAB, to help guide your congregation in articulating what it is you mean by becoming “welcoming and affirming.”
First Baptist Church of Berkeley, CA
FBCB affirms that providing strength for the oppressed and encouragement for the disenfranchised are fundamental to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through corporate and individual efforts FBCB members actively support projects for the hungry and homeless. We support the liberation of all the oppressed. We affirm women in professional ministry. We welcome and affirm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in all lay and professional ministries. Believing that God’s grace and redemptive love embrace all, we endeavor to be reconcilers in the world…
Grace Baptist Church, Chicago, IL
We believe that all have been invited to follow the Way of Jesus. We are committed to fully welcoming all people who cross our path on this journey. We provide a place of welcome in particular for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer Christians and straight allies who desire this diversity in their church family.
First United Church, Bloomington, IN
As an inclusive community of Christian faith, First United Church has a rich history of welcoming into worship and fellowship those who may have been turned away by other churches. For example, our church embraced racial integration at a time when few churches were willing to do so. Now we acknowledge the history of institutional condemnation and exclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons and are committed to work to end such discrimination. We welcome all into full membership and participation as children of God, and we affirm and celebrate all loving, committed relationships.
First Baptist Church of Dayton, OH
First Baptist Church of Dayton is a Welcoming and Affirming congregation. In faithfulness to Jesus and the commandments to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves, we embrace and respect all people–every sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic condition, all refugees and immigrants, those of all physical and mental abilities, all household compositions, those of diverse political and theological backgrounds and beliefs–and we invite those who desire to participate equally and fully in the life, ministry, fellowship, worship, leadership, responsibilities, and blessings of our church family to join us. Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, as God’s beloved, you are worthy and welcome!
Trinity Church, Northborough, MA
We, the congregation of Trinity Church of Northborough, Massachusetts, declare ourselves an Open and Affirming / Welcoming and Affirming congregation.
We will reach out with love to any and all people who enter our doors seeking God with faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
We recognize all human beings as worthy and loved by God.
We affirm and support all relationships based on love and mutual respect, and grounded in Christian faith.
We declare to the wider community that we are an open and loving community of faith for all people, of every age, race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, cultural background, socio-economic status, mental or physical ability, marital status, or any other distinctions of society.
We invite all in our midst to fellowship and service in Christ’s name.
We are a people of God and will be led by our faith in Jesus’ teaching of love. We shall be a beacon of light and a place of faithful joy in this community and the world, sharing with and caring for all people.
Crossroads Church, Kansas City, KS
Since our founding in 1999, Crossroads Church has been welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ+ persons. Today over 20 percent of our community identifies as LGBTQ+. In fact, this part of our community is growing fastest.
We invite all persons to participate fully in the life and sacred practices of the church including baptism, communion, marriage, and ordination. Central in our values is a desire to create space that is loving and inclusive of all persons and that empowers each person to live, serve, and lead as God calls them.
First Baptist Church of Painted Post, NY
… While the church (universal) has made progress in being open and affirming to many groups, there continues to be condemnation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons from the community of faith, or at least, a tolerance of such condemnation and exclusion through silence. We believe such actions are inconsistent with Christ’s teachings.
Therefore, we proclaim that our community of faith welcomes, affirms, and embraces people from all family configurations, religious backgrounds, racial and cultural identities, ages, economic status, divorced, partnered, single, married, differing abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Through our American Baptist heritage of religious liberty and soul freedom we invite all people to fully participate in the life and ministries of First Baptist Church of Painted Post, NY as we journey together toward reconciliation through Christ.
First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC
“In all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership, baptism, ordination, marriage, teaching and committee/organizational leadership, First Baptist Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany, NY
We believe that the issues of sexuality are not well understood and that the causes of sexual orientation are not definitively known. It is basically unjust to condemn a person because of an orientation over which he or she has no choice or power. It is equally unjust to deny an individual responsible expression of their sexuality if that orientation is not chosen. To try to divide actions from identity in areas of human sexuality betrays a basic misunderstanding of human nature and the degree to which one’s sexuality is central to one’s being.
We believe that the interpretation of scriptures which gives foundation to statements condemning gay men and lesbians is inadequate and over-simplified.
We believe it is foolish for the church to cut off women and men who bring rich gifts and deep commitments to the cause of the gospel because they do not fit the traditional stereotypes of the “good Christian.”
We believe that it is clear in the scriptures that Jesus lived, died, and rose again as a sign of God’s tenacious love and that he opened the doors of God’s kindom for all people regardless of age, sex, race, or sexual orientation.
We declare ourselves to be welcoming and affirming of all people regardless of age, sex, race, or sexual orientation and commit ourselves to providing opportunities wherein each individual can offer his or her gifts and find growth and service. We refuse to divide people into categories which erase their individual identities and over-look the gifts with which God has blessed them and with which God hopes to bless the Church.
Empowerment Liberation Cathedral, Washington, DC
At Empowerment Liberation Cathedral we celebrate our church being a welcoming and affirming, radically inclusive, LGBTQIA celebrated congregation, where ALL of God’s children are welcomed. We create an atmosphere where all worshipers can experience the gift of God, and the joy of Jesus. Everyone is invited to experience our worship – no matter your gender, race, age, sexual orientation, identification, handicap, or former faith background. All are affirmed and welcomed here! At Empowerment Liberation Cathedral our service is power packed with spirit-filled preaching and singing. It will be an experience your soul will always remember. Through liberation, teaching, and preaching, your daily life will be empowered.