We began our time together by lighting a purple candle to invite Christ into the space and the Holy Spirit to guide us, and read the corresponding section of the Rainbow Christ Prayer: "Violet is for vision, the wisdom of spirit. Interconnected Christ, you are our Wisdom, creating and sustaining the universe. Free us from isolation and grant us the grace of interdependence. With the violet stripe in the rainbow, connect us with others and with the whole creation."
Today marks our final session of the six-week Open & Affirming process. We focused our time in discussion and co-creation of an Open & Affirming Statement for Evergreen Christian Church. This statement is different from, and also, in alignment with mission, vision, and values statements, and is for the specific purpose of articulating together four ourselves and the wider community what it means to us to be an Open & Affirming congregation. After we put together the statement, we asked some of our LGBTQ+ friends from outside of ECC to review it to make sure that our intentions came across accurately to them.
Here is our Evergreen Christian Church Open & Affirming Statement:
Evergreen Christian Church affirms and celebrates LGTBTQ+ individuals and families to be authentically who they are. We invite all to join in life’s faith journey, to serve together, and to create a safe haven for the marginalized. Together, we will continue to seek to understand the challenges of the Church to live out the mission of Christ in the world.
This coming Easter Sunday, 4/21, we will hold a ritual of affirmation and confirmation at the end of our Easter worship service to become designated as an Open and Affirming ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Open and Affirming Ministries commit to openly welcome and affirm persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations to the table of Christ's communion and to the full life and leadership of the Christian Church.