Plymouth Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC).
ONA is the UCC’s 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. In 2004 our congregation voted to adopt the following statement which continues to guide us today:
“We declare Plymouth Congregational Church to be an Open and Affirming Church, welcoming all persons, regardless of gender, race, physical or mental ability, economic status, marital status, age or sexual orientation. We affirm that persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God. Therefore, this congregation joyfully and unequivocally welcomes all to share in the life and leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, and blessings of participation in our community of faith.”
The inception of Plymouth Church grew out of a deep yearning for justice. Our forbears made an arduous journey to the nation’s frontier because they were driven by a conviction that slavery was an abomination in the eyes of God. The same faith that propelled our abolitionist ancestors is a faith that continues to motivate our congregation in the 21st century as we once again stand for justice and equality. Inspired by our history and the Plymouth Covenant, we have sought to be a community gathered for “the worship of God and the service of all,” not just for those who identify as heterosexual, but truly for all individuals and couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight. We have worked and prayed for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of justice, and the realization of our shared humanity. In so doing, we extend our extravagant welcome and the bounds of love. We are blessed to be a community of faith through which God is still speaking. We hope you will join us on this journey!
- April 2004: Plymouth votes to become an ONA Congregation
- November 7 2014: Plymouth pastors author a press release announcing our congregation’s willingness and availability to marry same-gender couples
- November 17 2014: First legal same-gender marriage in our sanctuary
- October 8 2015: Pastors write marriage equality editorial in LJ World