Support the Coalition and the ONA movement!

Your tax-free gift will build a church where no one is left behind!

Andy Lang

Andy Lang

Thanks to you, we’ve begun to change our church. But our work is far from finished. Today, more than 1,100 congregations in the United Church are Open and Affirming—the biggest and fastest-growing LGBT-welcoming-church movement in the world. But we need to reach the nearly 3,800 congregations that aren’t ready yet to step out in faith by affirming an ONA covenant. These churches represent almost 750,000 members of the UCC—three-fourths of our membership! We are still leaving people behind.

  • We are still leaving behind young people who grow up in UCC congregations hearing shaming messages about LGBT people that fall short of the fullness of God’s grace. They are growing up without role models, without the liberating Good News that their capacity to love and seek love is a gift from God.
  • We are still leaving behind LGBT seniors who experience loneliness and painful isolation in their final years. They need to know there’s a congregation in their community where they are wanted and needed.
  • We are still leaving behind transgender Christians who experience humiliation instead of welcome when they walk through the doors of UCC churches.
  • We are still leaving behind LGBT couples who cannot turn to an ONA congregation when they want to commit themselves to each other in a marriage ceremony before God and their loved ones.
  • We are still leaving behind our same gender loving and transgender African-American brothers and sisters who seek us out when they are shunned by their home church—only to find that the UCC congregation they seek to join is not comfortable with them either.
  • We are still leaving behind LGBT Christians who are called to ministry but cannot find support in their UCC home congregation, where they are judged as “unworthy.”

This is not how it should be in the United Church of Christ. This is not how it should be in any church!

On behalf of a movement that for more than 40 years has worked to open the doors of all UCC congregations to their LGBT neighbors, I’m asking for your help. Help us reach those we are still leaving behind—the UCC congregations that are not ONA, and in those towns and cities across America, the many LGBT seekers for whom there is no welcoming church family.

Will you help us with a generous gift to support the Coalition and the wider ONA movement? In 2012, we celebrated Open and Affirming congregation number 1,000, and at the end of 2013 number 1,157. But we want to grow from 25 percent to 100 percent of our beloved church.

Your commitment will help us grow our ONA movement from 25 percent to 50 percent and beyond. And with your help, we can do more than that! The Coalition offers support—resources, workshops, consultants—to help ONA churches grow in ministry and numbers. With your help, we can expand our capacity to support your congregation and congregations like yours: in more confident outreach to your LGBT neighbors, in sharing best practices for evangelism and advocacy, in providing a safe space for LGBT youth and LGBT elders.

If you respond to this call, we can hire a full-time organizer and trainer for existing and future ONA churches. We can build strong networks of ONA churches in every UCC Conference. And we can forge stronger relationships with racial/ethnic congregations in the UCC.

If you respond to this call, the Coalition and its ONA program will be free from anxiety about whether we’ll have the financial means to continue this ministry in the future. Remember that the UCC’s Open and Affirming program receives no regular funding from Our Church’s Wider Mission. We’re grateful for the generosity of two foundations which have funded almost half of our annual budget, but we can’t count on this support indefinitely. It’s time for the ONA movement to become fully self-supporting.

If you respond to this call, we’ll have the resources we need to organize our faithful members to change unjust laws and policies in communities and states where LGBT people are still denied basic civil rights.

If you respond to this call, we’ll reach out to every one of the nearly 3,800 UCC churches that are still unable to offer a confident welcome to LGBT seekers. Imagine a United Church of Christ where every congregation—large and small—in thousands of neighborhoods across America is an attractive and welcoming community of faith for LGBT seekers and their friends and families! It would transform our church, our communities, and our country!

Let’s not leave anyone behind! Our movement is still needed. We are stronger than ever but there is so much more to be done. Please give what you can today. Your commitment will give us confidence to take the next steps on the path toward full inclusion and justice for all!

Faithfully yours,
Andy's signature 001
Andrew G. Lang
Executive Director
UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns