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Nearly a year ago, we were pleased to announce that Ponds Reformed Church in Oakland, NJ had joined the roster of Room for All churches. Like other congregations who journey through this important decision-making process, Ponds’ conversation around becoming publicly LGBTQ inclusive was framed within their own unique context; in their case, a history of broad community hospitality since their early days in 1710. The church’s welcoming statement reflects that commitment:
At Ponds Reformed Church we believe that all people – body and soul – are created in the image of God; that all people of color, ethnicity, country of origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identities are valued and called to participate in God’s mission to the world. Therefore, we embrace people with a Christ-like love free from prejudice, shame, ignorance and fear, and we commit to learn, educate and advocate until all people experience the justice of God, the peace of Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
It should be no surprise, then, that the ripples of inclusiveness continue to spread in the “pond” that is Ponds Reformed Church! Read the story of Sandy here: The Story of Sandy. Congratulations, Ponds Church, for your active embodiment of what it means to welcome all people!