LGBTQ/ Open and Affirming Ministries

We Are an Open and Affirming Conference

The Connecticut Conference is “Open and Affirming,” or ONA, which is the designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the United Church of Christ which make public covenants of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

The national ONA movement in the United Church of Christ (UCC) began in 1985, when the UCC General Synod adopted a resolution, "Calling on United Church of Christ Congregations to Declare Themselves Open and Affirming". Read the text here.

The Connecticut Conference Annual Meeting voted in 1989 to become Open and Affirming. Read the text of that resolution here. 

Building on this welcome, the 2003 General Synod adopted a resolution "Affirming the Participation and Ministry of Transgender People within the United Church of Christ and Supporting Their Civil and Human Rights." Read the text here.

Go to a list of ONA Churches here

What is Open and Affirming?

The essence of an Open and Affirming covenant is the full welcome into the life and ministry of the church for "people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions" (or "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people”).

The spirit of ONA is more than affirming people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. The meaning of an ONA declaration should be the commitment to affirm every person because they are children of God - those of any age, ability, race, culture and ethnicity, family configuration, health status, immigration status, whether with children or not, as well as any other description that might separate us. 

A true welcome respects and honors every person, their story, their gifts and their needs. A welcome to some but not others is no real welcome.

Open and Affirming Ministry Team

Find this new ministry team on Facebook at:



ONA Covenants

In order for a church to be listed ONA by the Coalition, it must present a covenant that makes reference to the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. The Coalition provides excellent examples of ONA covenants. Please note that nearly all churches choose to expand their welcome to name other groups that have been oppressed and include them in their welcome covenant. Go here for examples. The Connecticut Conference ONA Ministry Team can help with wording.

Get News from the ONA Coalition

You can keep up with the national ONA news, including the listing of new ONA churches, by joining the Coalition's Facebook page and by signing up for Ripples Newsletter


Open and Affirming Coalition - Resources for local churches considering becoming ONA and other information

Institute for Welcoming Resources.

Resolutions related to LGBTQ issues passed by Connecticut Conference Annual Meetings


Related Content

Volunteers agreed that the UCC presence at True Colors is an important outreach ministry.

On July 1, First Congregational Church of New London, UCC became the 100th church in the Connecticut Conference to declare itself as Open and ...
This November 12 will mark the 10th anniversary of the beginning of marriage equality in Connecticut, a cause that was championed by many United ...
It is hard to believe how time has flown by since we all met together in June for Annual Meeting in Hartford. At Annual Meeting we accomplish many ...
It is more important than ever for us as people of God to welcome all into the safety and embrace of our church communities. Our LGBTQ friends are ...

In response to the Presidential campaign rhetoric that so often targeted minorities and women, the Women's March on Washington is planned for January ...
"Offering a space for folks to come together, mourn, and speak their own truths is an act of resistance in itself." - Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager