Open and Affirming (ONA)

Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) designation for congregations and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

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Vision & Mission

The ONA Team mission is to organize and carry out LGBTQ+ programs and activities that keep our ONA covenant a vital part of our church identity.

Open and Affirming (ONA)

LGBTQ+* people of faith often experience emotional and spiritual injury in churches that condemn their capacity to love and seek love. Because they’ve learned that “All Are Welcome” usually doesn’t apply to them, they can’t assume that any church will be safe for them and their families. With our public welcome as an Open and Affirming (ONA) church we hope to send a clear message to LGBTQ+ seekers that they have a home in First Parish Church. 

The Open and Affirming (ONA) movement for full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons continues to spread throughout all aspects of our denomination’s life and witness. There are now more than 1,800 ONA churches and increasingly, the values that shape the ministry and witness of UCC as we live out the UCC mission to love all, welcome all, and seek justice for all. FPUCC has been an ONA church since 2012.  

* LGBTQ+ is a shorthand for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.” The word “queer” has often been adopted by people who don’t want to be constrained by the identities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, especially young people whose gender identity is “nonbinary.” The plus symbol reflects the diversity of sexual and gender identities in the human family.

Our Projects

Ryan Fecteau speaker event

Maine’s youngest and first openly gay House Speaker discussed his faith journey as a gay man and his calling to advocate for LGBTQ rights, in conversation with Senior Pastor Rev. John Allen. This event was part of First Parish’s celebration of 10 years as an Open and Affirming Congregation.

Marpheen Chann book talk

A talk by Maine author Marpheen Chann, author of Moon in Full: A Modern Coming of Age Story. Chann the son of Cambodian immigrants, grew up in rural Maine foster homes, schools, and churches and struggled to reconcile his fears and beliefs as a young gay man of color adopted into a white Evangelical family.

Brunswick Pride Festival

Each year FPUCC supports Brunswick Pride Festival. Link here for more details about the annual community event:

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Other Teams & Committees

First Parish offers any opportunities to get involved, teams and committees are always looking for new members. Take a look at these opportunities to get more involved in our mission to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

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