ONA Covenant Announcement

The ONA Team would like to thank the 60 members of First Church that attended our Open and Affirming (ONA) Cottage Meetings.  We congratulate all of you for faithfully allowing this time of “Holy Listening”.  And we’d like to add a special thanks to Lynn Lindsay, the Whear’s, Rebecca Kinchley, the Sawyer’s, the Dariotis’, the Scofield’s and the Angel’s for so graciously hosting the 8 meetings.  The Valentine’s Day themed meeting at the Dariotis’ will ensure they are asked to host again!

If there are any of you that would like us to convene one more Cottage meeting, we would arrange another, perhaps on a Sunday after Church.  Or if you would like to be heard in a private conversation, please let any ONA team member know.

If you would like access to any of the resources we’ve created or deployed during this process, please let us know that also.  We are assembling a collection of resources in the library for borrowing, and we encourage you to go to the First Church website at http://thefirstchurch.org/, move the curser over “Get Involved” on the home page and then hover over “Open and Affirming (ONA) Team”, and select Bibliography for even more.

On the strength of the broad consensus and favorable feedback from the Cottage Meetings, the ONA Team has asked Scott Heggie, Gordon Angel, Sharon Scofield and Jim Kinchley to prepare an ONA Covenant for First Church of Swampscott, Congregational.  They will present that draft to any interested members after the service on Sunday, March 16th.  Following this meeting, the resultant “final” Covenant will be printed and distributed by Sunday, March 23rd.  A formal Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday April 6th, with the specific purpose of inviting the congregation to vote on publically affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, welcoming them through our Covenant to the life and ministry of our church!  There is also a clear consensus from the Cottage meetings that the Covenant should additionally explicitly address other groups that have experienced societal or institutional discrimination or exclusion.

Faithfully Submitted,

The First Church Open and Affirming Team
Lorraine Angel  Gordon Angel      Holly Brauner     Peter Crowe      David Foye
Scott Heggie    Jim Kinchley (chair)         Natasha Medwedeff      Sharon Scofield
Rev. Ian Holland (advisor)