Welcoming and Affirming

This Sunday we will have an open discussion at the end of the service about what it means to be a welcoming and affirming church, inclusive of all where all get to plan the menu, cook the meal and sit down together (see previous post on chicken).

The next Sunday, October 21, we will be voting on a motion to become a welcoming and affirming church. The following two statements, adopted by the Church Council and endorsed by Affirm United will be included in our motions:

Forest Grove United, A Welcoming and Affirming Church

As the people of Forest Grove United Church, a house of prayer for all, we declare publicly our commitment to creating a compassionate community that embraces people of all of ages, genders, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, differing abilities, physical attributes, ethnic backgrounds or economic circumstances.

As Jesus’ followers, our call is to see the beauty and worth of everyone, and to invite everyone to participate in every aspect of church life, including membership, leadership, celebrating life passages and marriage.

Our aim is that people here would discover a sense of belonging, and a safe, nurturing environment where we accept and welcome all into the life and ministry of Forest Grove United.

We celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our church, which challenges us even as we open our arms wide to all. We pray for God’s spirit to guide us as we learn to work for reconciliation and justice for all persons in both church and society.

and,

Baptism and Weddings at Forest Grove United Church

“Community, Compassion, Church” are the words we use to describe ourselves. Together, we are followers of the Christian Tradition, learn from the teachings of Jesus, and recognise each of us is on a spiritual journey that includes care for each other and our world.

The other “C” word we use is Covenant.  This describes how we bind ourselves to each other for the sake of who we can be as individuals and as a community.  It is a word that describes the promise we make to trust each other.

Covenant is expressed by at least two of the acts we offer to our own community and the broader community, baptism and marriage.

We offer to you the possibility of celebrating the trust you place in your partner for life here, in a wedding ceremony, and in the counsel we offer to you, if desired, to prepare for that life together.

Baptism includes a welcoming of a person, usually a child, into our community, as we covenant with a family to support them in the nurturing of a life.

We believe that both baptism and marriage enrich us as a community, which is why we are delighted to share in these celebrations.  We hope you will want to share your delight and dreams for the future with us.

As the people of Forest Grove United Church, a house of prayer for all, we declare publicly our commitment to creating a compassionate community that embraces people of all of ages, genders, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, differing abilities, physical attributes, ethnic backgrounds or economic circumstances.

If you are in a relationship with different religious practices (or without religious practices), you are welcome here. We do expect that our minister and music director will perform the wedding or baptism unless there are exceptional circumstances. Details of the service will be decided on through shared discussion.