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A Quincy church recently announced its public support for the LGBT community.

In March, the Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation.

For more than 10 years, the Salem United Church of Christ has accepted LGBT people into its congregation. Now the church has decided to announce its public support for the LGBT community.

“We recently became Open and Affirming,” Rev. Ken Kramer, Intentional Interim Pastor for Salem Evangelical UCC said. “Which means that we are now specifically saying that all those who are lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and questioning people are not only welcome here, but affirmed as who, for who they are.”

“It’s a decision made by the church,” Robert Bedell, a 20 year member of the Salem Evangelical UCC said. “It’s was a resolution by the church and the resolution is predicated upon our interpretation of the message of the New Testament which specifically states that you should love one another as I have loved you.

For Bill Buss and Don Hunter it’s great news.

They’re a couple that’s always felt accepted by the church.

“Well, it’s important to me, because everybody needs to be able to feel comfortable,” Hunter said. “And when I mean comfortable, absolutely feel like you can express yourself and your opinions, and you know, most of the members here accept us as gay people.”

Joyce Winn has attended this church her whole life and supports this resolution.

“We overwhelmingly voted to accept it,” Winn said. “And we were so very pleased. And Don and Bill have done so much for our church and for us personally. It’s just wonderful having them here and we just love them to pieces.”

Both men now want anyone outside of the church who considers themselves LGBT to feel that acceptance.

“It’s a very big step, because there are people who go to other churches and they may go to the other churches and financially support the other churches, Buss said. But I also personally know that if you are openly gay and you want to be on different committees, that TMs not going to happen.

More than 1,100 churches nationwide are part of the Open and Affirming resolution.

by Derek Frank: Thursday, May 22nd 2014


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