To our newer readers, ONA (Open and Affirming) is a status claimed and proclaimed by churches in the United Church of Christ who identify themselves as being non-discriminating to those of any sexual orientation. The ONA church does not judge or condemn any single member of the human race for being the person God has created them to be. The ONA church truly lives out its call that “no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey – you are welcome here.” Through study, prayer, and thoughtful discussion, Plymouth Church is currently engaged in considering what it would mean for us to become a member of this growing faction of our parent denomination; the United Church of Christ. This feature is the 7th one in a series which began in January of this year; those previous articles are archived on our church website. Public listening sessions have also taken place since we began discussions (see below).
Next ONA Listening Session #5 – (movie and pizza) August 20 @ 11:00-1:00
We will be watching together the documentary film entitled “Call Me Malcolm.” Call Me Malcolm is an amazing story of the human spirit and God’s spirit, and the liberating struggle to realize and express with confidence the marvelous gift of one’s truest sense of self. As Malcolm shares his own story and through the stories of others we meet, Call Me Malcolm offers us a glimpse into the real lives of real people who are transgender. But it is only a glimpse. There are many stories to be told and Malcolm helps us make connections to our own stories, encouraging us to share them. That can seem daunting in a culture which has done more to heap shame on persons who identify as transgender. The good news of Malcolm’s story is the way in which shame and fear are overcome by grace, compassion and knowledge. Viewers cannot help but come to a deeper understanding of faith, love, and gender identity, and by doing so, arrive at a deeper understanding of their own journey.