News from the Open and Affirming Ministry Team


1/24/2018

Massachusetts Anti-Transgender Ballot Measure

“In 2018 Massachusetts will vote for fairness” says the banner on the website of Freedom Massachusetts.  Next November, Massachusetts will vote on a ballot measure that would roll back the hard-won rights in Massachusetts for transgender people. 
Go to freedommassachusetts.org and sign the pledge to defeat the measure.  Check their Facebook page for local efforts to defeat this measure, or organize an event in your community, in your church or with other churches.  

Celebrate these Recent ONA Churches 

(with their national number and month of their registration):

#1492   First Congregational United Church of Christ, East Longmeadow - January 2018
#1486   Second Congregational United Church of Christ, Cohasset - December 2017
#1485   First Congregational United Church of Christ, Hatfield - December 2017
#1480   Bethany Congregational Church, Foxboro - November 2017
New Church Start - Phoenix Rising UCC - November 2017
#1473   Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC, Weymouth - October 2017
#1468   Plymouth Congregational Church in Belmont, UCC, Belmont - July 2017

ONA Churches - What Is Your Job?

Adopting an ONA covenant was a milestone in your church’s life and your declaration is a real gift to your community.  After the vote, you must nurture the ONA ministry or it will die.  What are your responsibilities as an ONA church?  Here are some basics to start.
 
1. Print your ONA covenant in your bulletin each week
Seeing and saying the covenant makes it become part of your routine.  It becomes part of the congregation’s vocabulary and welcome news and safety for those who need to hear it.
 
2. Display your ONA status externally in some way  
Each church has a different context and style.  For some, the flag works; for others, the rainbow stripe or comma.  Don’t forget to advertise in newspaper ads and articles, on your church letterhead and on your Facebook page.  Find the right fit, but don’t hide your light!
 
3. Become familiar with ONA websites
Open and Affirming Coalition openandaffirming.org and MA Conference ONA Ministry Team macucc.org/lgbt 
You can also find the ONA page of the Conference by clicking on the rainbow stripe on the homepage or the rainbow comma on any page of the site.  Who knew?  Rich resources and important news.  Listings of new ONA churches, events, campaigns, advocacy ideas and articles.
 
4. Donate yearly to the Open and Affirming Coalition
Among other services, the Coalition provides trained ONA consultants and ministry teams nationwide to resource churches in their study and discernment of ONA.  Individuals and churches can contribute to the Coalition.  Only a handful of churches from the Massachusetts Conference donate.  If you can pay it forward just a bit, it will make all the difference.  Arrange for a line in your church budget or ask your mission/justice/outreach team to make this donation.  After all, you benefited.  Now pass it on.
 



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