The Congregational Church voted overwhelmingly on September 27, 2015 to covenant together to become an Open and Affirming Congregation.  This Covenant represents our commitment to provide and protect a safe place in our midst where all people are welcomed and affirmed.  The covenant reads:

The Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Rochester, Minnesota, is a theologically diverse community united by our faith in God and our call to be disciples of Jesus Christ.  Guided by the Spirit of Christ, we strive to honor the great commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 Our congregation declares itself to be a welcoming Christian community, open to and affirming of all God’s beloved children.  We recognize the equal value of people of all ages, races, nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.  All are welcome regardless of physical, mental or emotional abilities, family structures, faith backgrounds or socio-economic status.  We invite all people, whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, into the full life, ministry, joys and responsibilities of participation in our congregation.

 We know that Jesus excludes no one from his love, and we choose to do likewise.  We humbly ask for God’s guidance as we walk together, embracing this covenant and living forward into our full potential.

We celebrate the sacred nature of this covenant commitment, and recognize that we have taken an important step as followers of Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation.  We pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we learn to live into the full meaning of this covenant we have made together.


As a long time member and lay leader of The Congregational Church UCC in Rochester,
I observe the inclusive welcome of this church because:

  • We strive to be faithful caretakers of the world around us.
  • We practice generosity towards others and seek to transform a troubled world through loving service.
  • We are committed to responsible and transparent use of resources.  We recognize and value each person’s unique gifts of time, talent and treasure.
  • We invite and welcome all people, just as they are, to fully participate in our faith community and worship life.
  • We seek and nurture new understandings and faith development across the generations.
  • We have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus and know that an active and continuing spiritual journey gives life purpose and direction.
  • We know that the way we behave towards others is the fullest expression of what we believe.
  • We listen for God speaking in our everyday lives and believe that God’s grace shines on our search for understanding without requiring the assertions of certainty and absolutes.
  • We believe God calls us to “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God”   Micah 6:8

Bill McGinnis, 2015 Moderator