Open and Affirming Congregations of the Texas Panhandle

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does OAC offer? What does it do?

OAC is a resource for members of the LGBTQIA communities and their families. Our first priority is to let people in search of a faith community know that there are many congregations where they will be welcomed and affirmed, and to help them find the community of faith that is right for them.

We also offer our facilities as possible meeting places for LGBTQIA support groups and organizations.

What is LGBTQIA?

The letters LGBTQIA stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual. Some of these terms are evolving and changing, so they can mean different things to different people.

Why does OAC focus its Welcome on the LGBTQIA community?

We believe that communities of faith should be open to everyone. However, the LGBTQIA community has been traditionally excluded or limited in many congregations. Further, it can be emotionally and physically risky for people to identify as LGBTQIA. The OAC allows LGBTQIA people to identify churches that are safe and will affirm their worth and dignity and assure full participation in the community.

How can my church become a part of OAC?

To be part of OAC the official governing body of your church shall agree to uphold and embody the principles, guidelines, and ethos of OAC including the Open and Affirming Congregations Pledge.

What if my church will agree to all of the pledge except marriage?

The OAC stands in full support of marriage equality. Each congregation will hold the same requirements for all couples.

Our congregation is not Christian, can we still be a part of OAC?

Although many of the members of OAC are Christian, no religious affiliation is required to join and participate. We are an inclusive community, dedicated to love and acceptance.

My church is not a part of OAC. Can I still be an individual member? If so, how?

Yes! Individuals can join and participate. We hope that as more individuals become involved with us, they will help more and more members of their congregations understand the importance of being open and affirming, and gradually the whole congregation might be brought along. Individuals are also able to guide others into churches that are already open and affirming, finding safe places to worship and serve.

Does OAC offer assistance in talking to my congregation about the OAC?

Yes! OAC members include clergy, leaders, and laypersons. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with individuals or congregations about what we believe, how we came to be a part of OAC and why being part of this organization is important to our community of faith.

 

Our pledge: oac-logo

As people of faith we celebrate diversity. As an OPEN and AFFIRMING CONGREGATION of the Texas Panhandle, we pledge to be a safe space where members of the LGBTQIA communities will be welcomed and affirmed, and have all the rights and responsibilities to:

  •  Participate fully in all rituals and sacraments including marriages and rites of passage
  •  Use all your gifts openly in service
  •  Have equal opportunities to participate in congregational leadership
  •  Be part of our community of faith—with the freedom to participate fully in the life of the church, sharing your joys, your griefs, and      your life with us—as we share ours with you.

The following congregations have joined the Open and Affirming Congregations of the Texas Panhandle. As a member congregation, AUUF will keep you notified of future OAC meetings.

 

Safe Zone Churches

Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 
  4901 Cornell St., Amarillo, Texas 79109
  806-355-9351
  Rev. Addae Ama Kraba
  www.uuamarillo.org     Amarillo Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (AUUF) welcomes all as part of the beloved community regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. AUUF celebrates the richness that comes from diversity.

 

First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ
  2011 4th Ave.,­ Canyon, TX 79015
  806-655-3512
  Rev. Debra Huffman
  www.fcccanyon.com

 

First Presbyterian Church of Canyon
  904 19th St., Canyon, Texas 79015
 806-655-7087
 www.fpccanyon.org

 

Metropolitan Community Church 
  2123 S. Polk St., Amarillo, Texas 79109
  806-372-4557
    Rev. Bernie Barbour
  www.mccamarillo.com     MCC is a positive and affirming Christian home for the LGBT community. In June an annual pride worship service and picnic is organized for Panhandle Pride at Memorial Park.

 

Polk Street Methodist Church 
  1401 S. Polk St., Amarillo, Texas 79101
  806-374-2891­

 

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 
  1601 S. Georgia St., Amarillo Texas 79102
  806-376-6316      The Mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in  Christ. Special emphasis is placed on hospitality and an inclusive fellowship.­

 

St. George’s Episcopal Church
  2516 4th Ave., Canyon, Texas 79015
  806-655-3121
      Rev. Beverly Couzzourt       Our community encourages you to love God, others, and yourself.