First Christian Decatur votes to be Open and Affirming

On Sunday, September 16, 2018, the members of First Christian Church of Decatur voted to define and declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming Congregation.  The vote was 99% to the positive.  In case you are wondering, this means that we intentionally seek and strive to be an inclusive Christian community of faith in which the whole people of God are made welcome and received just as they are. When we say, “Welcome Home!” we are clear as day that all means all.

In 2017, the Open and Affirming Team of First Christian Church of Decatur, Georgia were sanctioned by first our Eldership and then the Church Board.  Their prayerful mission was to help our congregation seek together positive, Christ-centered ways and means to practice hospitality and build an inclusive church.  To achieve this, they participated in training in July 2017.  Over the past year they offered to the church a variety of free educational opportunities and Bible-based seminars.  The team personally reached out to every church member and offered to visit for a one-on-one conversation about what our members believe, feel and think about building an inclusive church.  Out of the one-on-one conversations with church members and what was learned from our shared, Scripture-based experiences, the following Welcome Statement was drafted.  A straw vote was held before it was presented to the church on Sept. 16, 2018, when it was approved by 99% of the Congregation.  At the same time, the Congregation made a commitment to include in our annual budget a financial contribution to the LGBTQ+ Alliance.

Welcome Statement

   First Christian Church of Decatur (Disciples of Christ) is an open and affirming congregation.  We welcome everyone into full participation in the life and membership of the church.

   Inspired and informed by God's love, mercy, and justice, we are purposefully involved in healing and helping our community and our world.  We covenant with God and the greater community to nurture a spirit of love and service to neighbors, honor one another’s differences, and fellowship in the breaking of bread.

   Actively striving to honor each other's race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, family configuration, political affiliation, economic circumstance, or theological perspective, we truly do welcome all.

Shalom,
The Rev. Dr. James L. Brewer-Calvert
Senior Pastor

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