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Our Open & Affirming Statement

What Do We Believe?

We believe that God welcomes us all and that is why in 1996 we became an Open and Affirming congregation. Below is our Open and Affirming statement. The following statement was adopted by a vote of the membership at the church's annual meeting in January 1996, after several years of study and discussion.

January, 1996

"The first [commandment] is... ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, and with all your mind, with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)

Accepting this is the supreme commandment of the Gospel. We, the Congregational Church in Exeter, United Church of Christ , open our doors and ministry to all, affirming and honoring the dignity and worth of each person.

We believe each of us is a unique creation of God. We welcome people of any age, race. gender, sexual orientation, economic status, marital status, physical, emotional, mental capacity, and those in traditional and nontraditional families. We are concerned that Christian unity has often been compromised by fear and prejudice. Let us strive to put aside our prejudices and to work to become faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ who commanded us to love one another.

In keeping with the recommendations of the Fifteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ , and that of the 1989 meeting of the New Hampshire Conference, we declare ourselves a welcoming and inclusive spiritual community and therefore to be an Open and Affirming church.

The UCC site concerning "Open and Affirming" for those who'd like to learn more about this is here.