Open & Affirming

After more than two years of introspection and sharing experiences with each other, the church membership adopted the following declaration on February 23, 1997.

The First Congregational United Church of Christ in San Bernardino, California, believing we are all children of God and one family of faith, and wishing to bear public witness to the inclusiveness of God’s grace and love, declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming Church, welcoming and accepting all people regardless of age, gender, marital status, nationality, physical ability, race, socioeconomic class or sexual orientation.

Today there are more than 800 congregations in our denomination who have declared themselves to be Open and Affirming churches.


WE BELIEVE that we have been called to follow Jesus Christ.

WE KNOW, each and every one of us, that we are saved by Grace:

– in spite of our false pride in what we imagine is virtue,
– in spite of our shame that we are less than perfect.

WE RECOGNIZE, as kindred in Christ,ALL who share in this confession.

JESUS TAUGHT us to love one another, to practice hospitality, to  welcome the stranger.

WE BELIEVE that this is reflected in our practice of Open Communion.

WE PRAY that the healing power of the Holy Spirit will be manifested in our desire to be a people who

– are welcoming and accepting, loving and caring; and who
– are able to respond in Christ’s name to those in pain.

WE HOPE that we can become, as Christ’s agents, truly Open to and Affirming of God’s gifts to others. IN CHRIST there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither Slave nor Free, there is neither male nor female, and there is neither “gay nor straight”.


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