Pastor's Notes‎ > ‎

May 2019

posted Jun 10, 2019, 6:39 AM by Lee Church
Dearest Friends in Christ,

On May 19, at a specially called congregational meeting, we will consider the adoption of a covenant statement claiming our identity as an Open and Affirming church.  This is a vote that is a significant indication of who we are as both people of faith and as a congregation that follows Christ.  All members of Lee Church Congregational, UCC are invited to attend this meeting and to vote as their faith directs them.  It is not a decision to be taken lightly, but after serious and prayerful consideration of what God, through Christ, calls us to do and be.

Folks have asked me if becoming an Open and Affirming church changes our mission statement.  The answer to this is “no.”  Our mission statement stands as an affirmation of who we believe ourselves to be as a church community.  The ONA covenant states our intention of how we wish to live together as a community of faith, welcoming all who come to join us in worship, and finding a place for everyone around the table, without exception.

Will this change who we are as a community of faith?  While we are a church that works hard to make everyone feel welcome, the ONA covenant is much broader and if taken seriously, should provide a framework for how we move forward as a congregation.  Decisions about worship, about outreach, about mission, about education will be made in light of a choice to be intentionally more inclusive.  All of these areas will continue to be critical in the life of the church, with an appreciation for how folks of all diversities will be involved, and will feel welcomed and heard.

How about the diversity that exists within the church at the present time?  Will all voices still be welcome, or will more theologically conservative voices be silenced?  We would not be an Open and Affirming congregation if any voices were intentionally silenced.  Lee Church Congregational will continue to be a community of faith that welcomes a variety of voices and theological perspectives.  No one will be told that they way that they read the Bible is wrong, nor should they be judged for their beliefs.  However, while we are engaged in the work and worship of the church, we will be welcoming and non-judgmental toward others.  We will respect the views and beliefs of others, especially those that are different from ours, and we will not criticize or condemn.  No one is expected to change their perspective to be a part of the church, but all are expected to be kind and respectful at all times while engaging in church activities and worship.  Welcome has to be sincere if it is to be genuine; genuine love and hospitality is the model that Jesus has given to us.  If we are to call ourselves a Christian community of faith, it is Jesus that we must follow; it is Jesus that we want to follow; it is Jesus’ love that following him calls us to embrace and to share with others.

Wishing you blessings and peace,
Pastor Gail