Welcoming Community Network

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Welcoming Community Network

“Welcoming Community Network (WCN) is an international grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life and ministry of Community of Christ both in policy and practice”—WCN Mission Statement

WCN is an active partner in the ecumenical Welcoming Church Movement and has been an organization working for movement toward full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and their families in the church at both the congregational level and with world church leaders for almost three years.

WCN offers to the church the untapped creativity and energy of diverse people who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, or even rejected. As we share in a prophetic church, we join with our brothers and sisters to move toward full participation of everyone in the Body of Christ.

The Open Door:
Welcoming Congregation in New South Wales, Australia.

Part of the Welcoming process is for the congregation to create a Welcoming Statement. The Open Door’s Welcoming Statement:
The Open Door, where you are accepted for who God created you to be….The Open Door is a rainforest of diversity, where our cultural, religious, and attitudinal differences give us colour and strength as we become interconnected in love for one another through Christ.
The Open Door is for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The Open Door is open to everyone.

WCN offers a number of services to the church in support of our mission:

• We raise awareness about inclusiveness issues throughout the church, including maintaining our web site, providing model resolutions for conferences, and hosting activities across the church.
• We provide training on inclusive ministries (in association with Welcoming ministries associated with other denominations.
• We alert the church to new inclusiveness resources when they become available.
• We maintain communication through a monthly newsletter. Request to sign up!

Welcoming Congregations:

• Include and address the needs of LGBT persons at every level of congregational life-in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in leadership – welcoming not only their presence, but their gifts and the hopes of their lives as well.
• Assume the presence of LGBT people and celebrate this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
• Fully incorporate the experiences of LGBT persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
• Support LGBT affinitive groups such as GALA.
• Offer congregational and ministerial support for union and memorial services for LBGT persons.
• Celebrate the lives of all people and welcome same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms expressions of caring and affection without regard to sexual orientation.
• Seek to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
• Affirm and celebrate LGBT issues and history during the church year.
• Attend to legislative developments and work to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
• Speak out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.
• As persons of faith, confess their own imperfections in attitude and action.
• Accept the responsibility to resist fear and hate in all forms and to strive continuously to eliminate expressions of prejudice and discrimination.
• Declare their belief that “all are called according to the gifts of God to them.” Therefore acknowledging and affirming human diversity by creating a spirit of openness and peace within their congregation.
• Celebrate the rich diversity of human life we have in the Community of Christ.
• Include and address the needs of LGBT persons at every level of congregational life-in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in leadership – welcoming not only their presence, but their gifts and the hopes of their lives as well.
• Assume the presence of LGBT people and celebrate this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
• Fully incorporate the experiences of LGBT persons throughout all programs, including religious education.

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