Open & Welcoming

First Parish is an Open and Welcoming community church, affirming the dignity of all people. We welcome all persons to full participation and belonging regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, economic status, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Having fulfilled the requirements of the United Church of Christ to be recognized as an Open and Affirming Congregation, First Parish is intentional about celebrating the presence and full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in all aspects of congregational life—in worship, and in leadership—welcoming them fully and without qualification.

An updated Open & Welcoming Statement, which was expanded to explicitly include transgender and nonbinary persons, was unanimously approved by FPL members in attendance at the Annual Meeting on Monday, June 5, 2023. (See below for the full text of this resolution.)

We acknowledge that we still have work to do. A task force has been formed to assess how we are currently fulfilling the mission and set tangible goals for becoming a more inclusive community for LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families. We invite suggestions for improvements through this link. We want to say, truthfully:

Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

Resolution Adopted at the Annual Meeting, June 5, 2023

Recognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, and queer persons are often undervalued and discriminated against in society and in churches, we, the people of The First Parish in Lincoln, affirm the importance of becoming an “Open and Affirming Church” (UCC designation) and a “Welcoming Congregation” (UUA designation), one that values the lives of all people without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 

We, the people of The First Parish in Lincoln, resolve: 

  • To welcome to our congregation and our lives, LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families with open hearts and open minds; 
  • To nurture an ongoing and inclusive dialogue among persons of differing sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions; 
  • To offer church programming and religious education for all ages that respects, represents, and recognizes the variety of experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ+ persons;
  • To intentionally design church systems and structures that are inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons in the full life of the church; 
  • To offer full congregational and ministerial support to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, including celebration of life events, such as baptisms, naming ceremonies, weddings, and memorial services;
  • To advocate for the respect and civil rights of LGBTQ+ persons in our broader communities; and
  • To revisit this statement as we continue our journey toward greater inclusion.