We are an Open and
Living Our Faith
St. Francis of Assisi had a saying that went something like this: "preach the gospel constantly, use words only when necessary."
At First Congregational Church, we strive to live out the gospel in our daily lives so that everyone we meet will know that we are followers of Jesus Christ. For us, this means that we try our best to emulate the life of service as modeled by Jesus. As the body of Christ on earth, we exist not for our own selves, but to be a force for love and justice in our community and the world.
As a church, we give over $30,000 a year to local and global charities. Additionally, we volunteer our time in soup kitchens, walk to bring awareness about homelessness, and knit blankets and hats to help foster children keep warm and feel loved.
We strongly believe that the love of Christ is not meant to be contained within the walls of a building, but rather it is our calling and privilege to share the gifts we have been given with all of God's creation.
Our Relational Covenant
(as written by the Walking in the Way Core Group 2007)
We believe in God and in the power of God’s forgiveness. We affirm that God is in our midst. We will open our hearts to offer and receive forgiveness, from and to all.
We are all children of God. We welcome everyone who enters our doors, loving and valuing each person, as we honor their vital and unique gifts. We value our diverse backgrounds, experiences and beliefs, and will endeavor to create a warm and open atmosphere of love, fellowship and respect as we worship and grow in Christian love, and while ministering good deeds.
We will communicate openly and honestly, infusing our communication with prayer, allowing all voices to be heard, refraining from discounting and gossiping, listening wholeheartedly without judgment in order to understand and appreciate each others’ points of view. We will seek common ground and creative solutions during disagreements and actively solicit ideas and input from each other, enlightening and informing all before making decisions.
We will strive to build consensus/discernment out of disagreement. We will have mutual respect with our pastors. We will communicate directly and honestly with them and with each other about our disagreements. We will strive to work together for the common good of the whole congregation.
Many people ask what it means for a congregation to be Open and Affirming. At First Congregational Church, we look to Jesus for examples of how we should pattern our lives.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus was drawn to, and advocated vigorously for, those who were marginalized by society. Jesus came not to maintain the social order that places some people above others, but affirmed through both his words and actions that in God’s eyes we are all equally loved, cherished, and called to discipleship.
We, therefore, welcome everyone who is on a journey of faith. We may differ in appearance, lifestyle, or through which lens we view the world, but what we share is that we are all beloved children of God. When love is the center of our life together, our differences become an asset to our community, a kind of springboard of acceptance and compassion that fosters mutual growth and understanding.
What is an open and affirming congregation?
As an open and affirming congregation, we seek to reflect the inclusive love of God in Jesus Christ. We reaffirm that both our worship and our membership are open to all believers, without regard to race, cultural background or sexual identity. We affirm all who are willing to accept the cost and the joy of discipleship to Jesus Christ in our community of faith. In 1993, our congregation voted to make First Congregational Church an Open and Affirming Congregation.
What does the rainbow flag mean?
A rainbow flag is a multi-colored flag consisting of stripes in the colors of the rainbow. The actual colors used to differ, but many of the designs are based on the traditional scheme of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
The use of rainbow flags has a long tradition; they are displayed in many cultures around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and of yearning. At First Congegational Church, we fly the flag as a symbol of our open and affirming policy and let all who pass by know that they are welcome here.
WAGLY (West Suburban Alliance of GLBT Youth), is an organization in the MetroWest area for High School GLBT youth and allies.
What first grew out of a conversation between ministers and parents in the area, WAGLY has been created to give gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied youth a safe space to come, socialize, and learn together. The goal of the group is to unite GLBT and allied youth in the West Suburban area of Boston by creating a safe space for all who wish to come.
Meetings are held every Monday night from 7 - 8:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills. For more information, download this pdf or visit their websites: www.wagly.org and www.facebook.com/wagly.
First Congregational Church, Holliston
725 Washington Street, Holliston, MA
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