Heart of the Rockies Christian Church in Fort Collins, CO

O&A Discernment

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. Heart of the Rockies Christian seeks to live out our calling to Loving God. Serving others. Changing lives. And yet, our world is still fragmented. People are still hurting. God’s love and the welcome of the Lord’s Table have not yet reached everyone who is yearning for healing and belonging. Many LGBTQ+ people have difficulty finding a church where they feel included and affirmed. These feelings can affect their ability to seek a positive relationship with Christ.

As we continue to explore how to invite all to share the table that Jesus has set, a Discernment Team has been prayerfully identified by our Elders in consultation with our Church Board to engage the process of discerning if God is calling our church to become an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation, as outlined by the Disciples’ LGBTQ+ Alliance.

The Discernment Team is committed to graciously listen to each member of our congregation about how you live out your faith. Each is encouraged to participate in this journey of discernment by attending one or more discussion sessions within our small groups and/or one-on-one. Click here to request a one-on-one meeting with a member of our team.

What does it mean to be Open & Affirming?

The identity statement of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) includes: As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”

When we WELCOME persons of all gender expressions and sexual orientations, we commit to including persons regardless of their gender expression or sexual orientation, welcoming all as Christ welcomes us. We do not use these attributes as a barrier to communion, membership, service, leadership, or employment in our church, nor as a barrier among those served.

A congregation is OPEN when it commits to communicating its welcome publicly and by naming itself an Open & Affirming Congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

A congregation is AFFIRMING when it commits to preaching and teaching a gospel which understands that God does not reject or condemn people solely for their gender expression or sexual orientation.

What does LGBTQ+ stand for?

Lesbian, a woman who identifies as being sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.

Gay, a man who identifies as being sexually and/or romantically attracted to other men.

Bisexual, a person who identifies as being sexually an/or romantically attracted to both men and women.

Transgender, a person who has crossed from the gender assigned to them at birth to a different gender identity.

Queer, a term used by some people instead of or in addition to the others because their identify is not fully represented by L, G, B, or T.

+, an inclusive and intentional way of representing all additional identities and experiences.


Team Members:  Patsy Nix (leader), Madison Booton, Rachel Chappell, Betsy Davis-Noland, David Greene, J Lundgren, Celeste Scott, Gordon Thayer

Resources

For the Bible Tells Me So  – This DVD can be checked out in the office with Sarah. Through the experiences of five families, including former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, we discover how people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member. It offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

Fish Out of Water – This excellent film seizes the issue of homosexuality and the Bible, dissecting the impact it has had on American culture, politics, the LGBTQ+ community and the Christian church as a whole.  With animated historical clips and quirky interviews taken from barbershops to truck stops, the film will inspire, inform, and with hope, transform.

Transgender and Christian –  A theological understanding celebrating transgender identity woven with the personal faith testimony of Dr. H Adam Ackely who is both an ordained minister and a theologian. Dr. Ackely shares his experiences from youth to adulthood and his goes a long way in helping heterosexuals see and begin to understand a different perspective.

Does Christianity have good news for the transgendered? – Transgender issues are gaining increasing cultural traction but what does the Christian world-view have to say about them? In this talk, RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) Itinerant Speaker Sam Allberry contends there are three aspects where Christians offer unique insight – brokenness, identity and hope.

The Bible and Transgender Christians – Austen Hartke presents on the Bible and transgender Christians at The Reformation Project in Chicago.

More than a Woman: The Intersections of Gender, Race, and Sexual Orientation – In the words of the late essayist, Audre Lorde: “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Invisibilized in conversations on cis-gender issues, women identified people of color face unique challenges, living in a world where they experience both racism, sexism and transphobia all while working to achieve and perform at their highest level.