Open and Affirming Coalition, United Church of Christ. Collection, 1969-2015
Span Dates: 1969-2015
Volume: 7 record cartons, 1 shoebox (7.77 cubic feet)
Types of material include council minutes; correspondence to and from leadership (national coordinator and some chapter representatives); events; subject files and resources; regional chapters; public relations; publications; and news articles related to Coalition interests.
Due to the nature of the donations and record-keeping by individuals, there are unpredictable focal points and gaps in the records. The nature of the Coalition was very de-centralized for the first decades of its existence. It evolved to have an office in the late 1990s and is now incorporated into the United Church of Christ headquarters. Leadership was responsible for maintaining their own records until that office was created, and only a few people have shared their files with this central archive project. When material has come in, if a clear creator or collector was present, it's noted on the folder. This sometimes informs organizational choices.
The Gay Caucus was founded in 1972 by Reverend William Johnson, the first openly gay minister ordained in the United Church of Christ, Nancy Krody and others to advocate for the inclusion of gays and lesbians into the life of the United Church of Christ. The Caucus evolved into the Coalition for Lesbian/Gay Concerns. The Coalition made its first appearance at the 1973 General Synod in St. Louis, MO with an objective of making sure that when discussions about gays and lesbians took place that gays and lesbians were included. In 1997, the Coalition changed its name to the United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.
In 1981, annual National Gatherings started taking place as a way to provide personal support to gays and lesbians, their families and friends.
In 1985, General Synod passed a Resolution urging local congregations to Declare Themselves Open and Affirming. The Coalition took on the responsibility of implementing this resolution. The ONA program included resources and personal guidance to any UCC church willing to go through a discussion process with the goal of adopting a statement that welcomed gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgender people into their congregations. By 2012, the 1,000th UCC congregation declared itself as ONA. In 2015, the Coalition changed its name to Open and Affirming Collation of the United Church of Christ.
The finding aid is available online,
This collection is located at the Congregational Library and Archives, Boston, Mass.
United Church of Christ/Congregational Church | Johnson, William Reagan | Wood, Robert | Open and Affirming in the UCC (ONA & formerly UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns) | Ordination/clergy