Here at Rock Spring we express our commitment to our values in tangible ways. Here are some of the commitments we have made as a congregation:
WE Are an LGBTQ+ Friendly, OPEN AND AFFIRMING CHURCH
Everyone is welcome at our table. Gay, straight, single, married, widowed, divorced, rich, poor, healthy, ill, left, right, sure, or unsure. For many years, Rock Spring and the United Church of Christ have welcomed people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and we seek to continue to widen that welcome. The congregation voted to be “Open & Affirming” in 2000 and LGBTQ+ persons are fully a part of our community and our church’s leadership. While we are advocates for marriage equality and seek to further understanding about sexuality, several of our members have been known to say something like, “I love it that we are welcome here, but I am especially glad that my sexuality and gender identity are not considered all that interesting.” Be who you are. Love who you love.
WE ARE A SAFE CHURCH
Children and youth are a vital and vibrant part of our community. We want them to have so much fun here that they become the ones pushing their parents to attend. We want them to build meaningful friendships and learn the stories of our faith. We want them to experience the love of God and this community. And, we want them to be safe. In 2010, Rock Spring adopted a resolution affirming its commitment to being a safe church. With this resolution, we made the commitment to be sure that everyone working with children and youth have background checks on file and that there are always two adults with every group of children.
WE ARE A JUST PEACE CHURCH
“We now need to put as much effort into defining a just peace as we have done in defining a just war.” This was the challenge from Dr. Robert V. Moss, the second president of the United Church of Christ, in 1971. The UCC has defined Just Peace as the interrelation of friendship, justice and common security from violence. Our commitment to being a Just Peace church inspires us toward direct service, legislative advocacy, and courageous witness.
WE ARE A GLOBAL MISSION CHURCH
We recognize that we are a global community and that our world will be stronger when we can learn, share, and grow together. We are in partnership with the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem, a Lutheran congregation that shares our commitment to working toward peace in that region. We engage in advocacy for a just peace in the Holy Land, working with our partner Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). We participate in film screenings with the Voices from the Holy Land film series, have members involved in the work of the UCC on Israel-Palestine, and sell olive oil annually to benefit small farmers and humanitarian agencies in the region.
WE ARE A CHURCH THAT SEEKS RACIAL JUSTICE & EQUITY
Rock Spring’s commitment to racial equity and justice continues to deepen and grow. Following several years of course work in which Rock Springers have sought to understand white privilege, implicit bias, and the systemic racism and white supremacy that is woven into nearly every system of which we are a part, in 2020 the Council established a standing Racial Equity Committee that guides the congregation’s learning and advocacy in the racial justice realm.
WE ARE A CHURCH THAT PURSUES ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
We have long been an advocate for environmental justice and reversing climate change. In 2017, Rock Spring deepened our engagement by committing to bring solar lighting to homes in developing countries, and more recently, by becoming a Net Zero church.
WE ARE A CHURCH THAT WELCOMES IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
We affirm the dignity and value of every human being, including immigrants and refugees. We actively seek ways to extend a warm welcome, helpful assistance, and friendship to those who are entering our community from afar.
We are a Church that Is Learning About Native Stories
We are embarking on a time of learning and unlearning stories about and from the Indigenous People (also known as native people or Tribal Members) who may have lived on the lands where our church buildings stand. We share resources of reflection and action here. We are beginning a journey to understand what commitment and justice can look like in this area, and offer this article for your reflection.