Open & affirming (ONA)
Our church is a community of extravagant welcome. We welcome and embrace with affirmation, all persons of every age, race, culture, marital status and family structure, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, physical and mental ability, economic and social status and religious background, including non-believers and seekers.
The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury (FCCOWT) is proud to be a home for our LGBTQA brothers and sisters as well as others who may feel alienated from the church. FCCOWT is a part of the national family of local UCC churches that identify as Open and Affirming (ONA). ONA churches not only welcome, but authentically affirm the diversity of our friends and families and welcome them in our pews, our lay leadership and pulpit.
What We Believe
“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Our extravagant welcome begins with a warm greeting at the front door, continues through a worship service that strives to be mindful of the first time visitor, the unchurched, and the vulnerable, and then is extended again through a time for socializing, offered after the service. Our extravagant welcome includes our commitment to being Open and Affirming, to being a church where those who have felt marginalized by the church, like our LGBT brothers and sisters, can find a home. We welcome people of all ages, abilities, race, ethnicity, gender orientation, sexuality, and faith backgrounds, including those with doubts and no faith at all.
“Serving from the heart, from the heart of the Island”
By allowing our hearts to be broken open by the suffering and struggles of our neighbors, near and far, we have discovered vast resources and strength for service, compassion, and social action. Our primary commitment these days is to our fellow Island residents who struggle to make ends meet in our Island economy which is seasonal and reflects an enormous gap between the rich and poor. Like so many churches in the world, our passion is for feeding our people with wholesome food and love.
We recognize that people are hungry for spiritual wisdom and hungry for the opportunity to share their spiritual journeys with one another. Some people find their hunger is met through worship; others need more. We feed one another spiritually in a variety of ways, through Sunday worship services, our Sunday School program and through small groups. These groups are often led by members of our church community.