Being an Open & Affirming Ministry

Open & Affirming Ministries are encouraged to participate in the Open & Affirming Ministry Program of the GLAD Alliance and to further the Mission of the Open & Affirming Ministry Program in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the church ecumenical.

There are many ways to participate and widen the welcome. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Hold at least one event per year celebrating your Open & Affirming commitment. This might be the anniversary date of your decision to become O&A or join with our ecumenical friends and celebrate International Welcoming Church Sunday on the fourth Sunday in January:
    • Include a special bulletin insert;
    • Use scripture, prayer, music, dance, and liturgy to highlight your O&A commitment;
    • Discuss your O&A commitment during a sermon;
    • Re-affirm your church’s O&A statement by reading it in unison during worship;
    • Take up a special offering to support the GLAD Alliance;
    • Include an article in your church newsletter;
    • Celebrate with a colorful O&A anniversary cake;
  • Revisit your O&A statement to make sure it includes gender identity and gender expression and any other aspects of welcome that your congregation is discovering;
  • Consider what steps might be helpful to reinvigorate or extend your commitment to the LGBT community. For instance, is there a local LGBT community center that could use support from your mission funds?
  • Attend GLAD events.
  • Include a regular contribution to GLAD in your congregation’s annual mission and outreach budget.
  • Join GLAD as an individual and encourage others in your congregation to do the same.
  • Reach out to another local congregation that might be considering the O&A process.
  • Expand your understanding of welcome, increasing your understanding of your members and neighbors, striving to overcome barriers that separate us from one another.
  • Write articles for GLAD’s newsletter and website:
    • About your congregation’s process of becoming O&A;
    • About your congregation’s experience after becoming O&A;
    • About why being O&A is important to you;
    • About what being a member of an O&A church has meant to you.
  • Be GLAD’s eyes and ears on the ground. Let GLAD know when there’s a congregation that may be ready to become O&A, when there’s a need that we can attend to, when you learn more about welcome.
  • Make sure GLAD has your email address so that you get the newsletter and learn more ways to get involved and widen the welcome.