Annual Meeting Resolution on Bullying for MA and CT ConferencesBe sure to look out for a proposed resolution at the MA and CT Annual Meetings this June. The CT Conference ONA Ministry Team created the resolution and graciously shared it with the MA Conference ONA Ministry Team for its consideration. The MA Team decided to propose it, adding education and training components to support churches’ ability to address and prevent bullying of all kinds.
Get Involved NOW to Save Transgender Rights in Mass. this FallIn November, Massachusetts residents will vote on a ballot measure that would roll back the hard-won rights for transgender people in Massachusetts. Go to freedommassachusetts.org and facebook.com/FreedomMassachusetts and find out what you can do to help defeat it.
Celebrate Our New Open and Affirming ChurchesThe number of ONA churches in the MA Conference is now 178, with 2 ONA new church starts. The new ONA churches in 2018 are shown here with their National ONA Number and the month in which they were certified by the Open and Affirming Coalition:
#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
Organize an ONA Ministry Team at Your Church
ONA Churches - What Is Your Job? Part 2
The team is responsible for articulating the ONA vision for the church and ways to live out your promise. Some churches have only an ONA chair or leader, but a team can share the work and keep each other encouraged in the mission.
Educate and Re-educate Your Church about ONA
There may be a number of people in your church who were not present when your ONA covenant was adopted. So, make sure they understand the what ONA means and why the church decided to be Open and Affirming. Educate the congregation about legislative issues, such as the anti-transgender ballot measure and Bill #H.1190, which would outlaw so-called “gay conversion therapy” in Massachusetts.
Celebrate Your ONA Anniversary Every Year
Marking your anniversary with something special is a great way to add energy to your ministry and keep people awake to the issues. Elements of celebration include a service with music, litanies, sermons; performances, presentations and educational events; and making specific commitments to a project (e.g. to racial justice work in your area or financially supporting an LGBTQ youth center).
Be ONA in Your Community
Let the community get to know what your ministry means. Talk face to face. Be a presence in the community. Show up as a congregation when people are threatened or hurt. Write an article for the local newspaper. Help others understand who you are and why your promise is so important to your church.
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From the ONA Ministry Team of the MACUCC