In 1972, the United Church of Christ reached a historic moment when the Golden Gate Association ordained the Rev. William R. Johnson, an openly gay man, to the ministry of Word and sacrament.
In 1985 the General Synod of the United Church of Christ — a gathering of delegates from all Conferences and ministries of the denomination — followed its study of the Gospels and its discernment of the Holy Spirit by declaring itself to be “Open and Affirming,” welcoming LGTB persons into full participation in leadership and membership. The General Synod encouraged UCC Conferences and Congregations to make a similar commitment.
In 2017, the Congregational Church of Salisbury also declared itself to be Open and Affirming, and formally adopted the following covenant:
“We, the Congregational Church of Salisbury, UCC, seek to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds and love our neighbors as ourselves. This Church declares itself to be Open to all for participation, membership, leadership and employment regardless of race, ancestry, class, gender identity, physical/mental ability, or sexual orientation. We further declare ourselves to be Affirming of each individual as a child of God, celebrating the total identity of each person.
As a declared Open and Affirming Congregation, we commit ourselves to work toward ending ignorance, fear, hatred, prejudice and discrimination against any person. Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”
We continue to learn and grow in our understanding of the radically inclusive nature of God’s image in humanity, and Jesus’ call to loving community. We believe, in the words of John Winthrop, “there is yet more light to break forth from the Word of God!”