Bullying Resolution, Transgender Rights, and an ONA Milestone

Bullying Resolution, Transgender Rights, and an ONA Milestone

Bullying Resolutions Discussed in MA and CT Conference Annual Meetings
On June 15, 2018, a joint hearing was held for Massachusetts and Connecticut Conference members to consider resolutions on bullying. The CT Conference adopted their resolution on June 16. The MA Conference will spend a year in education and vote at the 2019 annual meeting.
The resolution calls on churches and entities of the MA Conference to stand in support of those who are bullied and to become educated about the realities, causes and prevention of bullying. The CT Conference ONA Ministry Team authored the resolution and shared it with the MA Conference ONA Ministry Team. The MACUCC Justice and Witness Council proposed the resolution and the MA ONA Ministry Team articulated an education and training plan to support churches’ ability to address and prevent bullying of all forms, at all ages and in all groups.

Vote YES in November - Vote YES for Transgender 
Massachusetts residents will vote in November on a ballot measure that would roll back the Public Accommodations section of the Transgender Law. Public accommodations include: retail stores and malls, restaurants, hotels, medical offices, public parks, theaters, and public transportation. Many communities have held successful transgender conversations. Start the conversation in your area! Go to freedommassachusetts.org and facebook.com/ FreedomMassachusetts and find out what you can do to help retain these rights.

180 Open and Affirming Churches - 50% of Our Conference Churches 
The number of ONA churches in the MA Conference is now 180, with two ONA new church starts.  Shown here are the ONA churches certified since the 2017 annual meeting. They are shown here with their National ONA Number and the month in which they were certified by the Open and Affirming Coalition:
#1532 Second Congregational Church, Winchester - June 2018
#1531 Groveland Congregational Church, Groveland - June 2018
#1508 Church of Christ, Congregational, United Church of Christ, Millis -  March 2018
#1504 North Community Church Marshfield Hills - February 2018     
#1492 First Congregational United Church of Christ, East Longmeadow - January 2018
#1486 Second Congregational United Church of Christ, Cohasset - December 2017
#1485 First Congregational United Church of Christ, Hatfield - December 2017
#1480 Bethany Congregational Church, Foxboro - November 2017
NCS First Congregational Church of Haverhill (dba) Phoenix Rising UCC - November 2017
#1473  Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC, Weymouth - October 2017
#1468  Plymouth Congregational Church in Belmont, UCC, Belmont - July 2017 
ONA Churches - What Is Your Job?  Part 3

1. Recognize and Check Your Privilege
Acknowledge your unearned privilege (received by virtue of your skin color, educational opportunity, country of origin, income level, gender identity, physical ability, whatever).  Realize that your privilege means someone else’s voice may not be heard and their opportunities limited.  Learn to step aside, listen to others’ stories, opinions and points of view.  You just might not be the center of the universe. That is openness and affirmation.

2. Look in All Directions at the Intersections
Intersectional thinking helps us see the circumstances, barriers and gifts of all those people whom we name in our ONA covenants, those we promise to affirm.  People whose lived experience is made up of oppression or marginalization in more than one area (race-and-gender identity, sexual orientation-and-disability, age-and-unemployment) can be affected exponentially by the privilege and power exerted by others and by the system.  When relationships are formed among people across lines of cultural context, we are drawn to work for each other’s interests and needs.  Our issues and caring intersect.  We are greater together. 

3. Know the Issues
Show up! Look around in your community, your state the country and the world.  Be alert. Get alerts.  What and who needs your attention?  Who is being silenced?  What issues need your church’s support?  Subscribe to the newsletters for the UCC, the MA Conferenceand the Open and Affirming CoalitionThen when you know what the issues are and where you can help, show up!  

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Kathie Carpenter

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