St. Louis Area Open & Affirming Congregations of the United Church of Christ
Together AGain: The Gateway Open & Affirming Convocation
We are excited to officially open registration for this year's convocation.
If you are an Open and Affirming congregation, talking about Open and Affirming, or thinking about starting the conversation, if you want to explore how to be effective allies, there will be something for you and your church. Come, be in conversation with others, learn what it means to be Open and Affirming and how to fully express extravagant welcome to all God's children.
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ's (UCC) designation for congregations and other settings of 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.
This year we have some new workshops and some new leaders, as well as some returning leaders.
We welcome Lisa M. Brennan as our keynote speaker. Lisa Brennan is the proud daughter of a United Church of Christ minister. She and her husband Mike and dog, Charlie, reside in a small Illinois community at the border of St. Louis, Mo. They have two grown children, Connor and Deirdre. Lisa attended college at the University of Evansville, Indiana and spent some time working in England before settling down with her husband. Lisa is the marketing director for a small group of nursing facilities throughout Missouri. The rest of her time is spent reading, hiking, playing with her dog, and educating others on the beauty and magic of the transgender community.
In January of 2018, Lisa started a new chapter of life, as her youngest child shared with the family that she is a transgender woman. After some adjustment, the Brennan family has found that when you treasure someone for who they are, it is magical and sacred. Lisa wrote a beginner’s guidebook for family and friends (shared in this book), and to her surprise, it was widely shared, with churches, hospitals, and schools asking her to share her family’s adventure of love and acceptance. This prompted Lisa to write a book about her family’s journey. She hopes that it will spread some education and love into the world.
In addition to the workshops, we are excited to have the Eden Theological Seminary Bookstore, a Community Resource Table, and many other displays, as well as fellowship, food, and fun!
The morning worship includes the sacrament of Holy Communion. An offering will be received on behalf of the (National) United Church of Christ Open and Affirming Coalition and AllianceQ: The Disciples of Christ LGBTQ+ Alliance.
A Message from Sharon Love:
Rainbow Comma T-Shirts
Classic Rainbow Comma
"3 Great Loves" Rainbow Comma
We are selling the shirts at cost, so Gateway ONA makes no profit on them. You pay only for your shirt and its shipping cost.
Due to limitations in Redbubble's interface, some of the shirt styles allow you to select white or grey background colors. We ask that you choose a "rainbow" color as the background color of your shirt. This is both so that the white writing on the shirt is readable, and so that we look colorful in the PrideFest parade.
Thank you, and please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Gateway ONA Resource line
WE ARE UCC
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive. We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul. Our faith is over 2,000 years old...our thinking is NOT.
WE ARE OPEN & AFFIRMING
To say that a UCC church is “Open and Affirming” means that it has publicly and specifically declared that those of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions (LGBTQ) are welcome in its full life and ministry. ONA congregations offer a spirit of hospitality and show a willingness to live out that extravagant welcome in meaningful ways.
WE ARE GATEWAY
Gateway ONA is a coalition of LGBTQ Open & Affirming congregations of the United Church of Christ (UCC) in the St. Louis area. We provide support to our member churches, run a resource hotline, host annual events to educate on LGBT issues and have a presence at PRIDE.