An Open and Affirming Congregation
FCCWP is proud to be a home for our LGBT Brothers and Sisters as well as all of those who, for whatever reason, have felt alienated or cast out of Church.
The history of Congregationalism is one of many "firsts", not the least of which is the ordination of the first openly gay pastor in 1972 when Rev. William R. Johnson was ordained in the Golden Gate Association in California. Ever since then, the United Church of Christ has stood for equality and affirmation of those within the LGBT community.
"Open and Affirming", as defined by the UCC, is "a designation for congregations, campus ministries, 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."
The process of becoming "O and A" is up to the local church, and FCCWP is proud to be part of the family of local UCC churches around the nation that not only welcome, but authentically affirm the lives of our LGBT Brothers and Sisters and welcome their presence in our pews, our lay leadership and our pulpits.
FCCWP's own Open and Affirming statement was adopted on November 21, 2010 and states:
"We are a community of Extravagant Welcome.
We welcome and embrace with affirmation persons of every age, race, culture, religious background, political affiliation, economic and social status, physical and mental ability, gender, marital status, and family structure.
Therefore, in this spirit, we of First Congregational Church of Winter Park, United Church of Christ, declare ourselves an Open and Affirming congregation welcoming and embracing with affirmation persons of every sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression into the full life, membership, leadership, employment and ministry of this church."
For more information on Open and Affirming, visit The UCC Open and Affirming Page