UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns releases a strategic plan for 2010-2013
The UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Open and Affirming resolution by General Synod which launched the ONA movement in the United Church of Christ. It is a time of celebration and transition as Interim Executive Director of the Coalition Gwen Thomas shares, “This past year of transition has put us in the perfect position to reinvent ourselves based on what we know about our strengths and challenges. We have an opportunity to create a new vision to shape and form and share with the world, just as our founders did before us. But, visioning alone does not bring ideas into reality. A vision is merely a pipedream without definition and deadlines for actions.”
With those words of encouragement, the Coalition released their strategic plan for 2010 through 2013. It is a plan of commitment for immediate action steps as well as long-term goals and visions.
Founded in 1972, the Coalition is an independent but affiliated organization of the United Church of Christ. Its mission under the new strategic plan is living into Christ’s call for love and justice by working to transform the United Church of Christ, Christianity, and society into an expression of God’s extravagant welcome, especially for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and others who have felt excluded and alienated.
The work of the Coalition is guided by the core values of extravagant welcome, transformation, equality and justice, pastoral presence, courage, compassion, empathy, humility, and accountability.
The strategic plan identifies seven strategic directions that will focus the Coalition’s work over the next three years:
- National Gathering
- Increase intentional partnership with denomination staff to deepen the connection between the ONA project and the denomination’s focus on extravagant welcome to help bring ONA to scale.
- Support LGBT and questioning youth.
- Support current ONA congregations to live fully into extravagant welcome.
- Transgender inclusion in new ONA congregational statements and support for current ONA congregations to live into the fullness of extravagant welcome.
- Extend extravagant welcome to the broader community.
- Enhance the Coalition’s organizational effectiveness and sustainability.
To address these strategic directions, the following criteria help to guide and prioritize the work of the Coalition:
- articulate and disseminate a transformative worldview
- analyze and distinguish policy and cultural issues
- attend to local congregations that are at different points in the ONA journey
- communicate its plans and actions with its stakeholders in a proactive fashion