“We are one body in Christ, and when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Drawn together in Christ and aspiring to emulate the unconditional love of God, we, the members of The Congregational and Baptist Church of Chester, New Hampshire, pledge to serve our community as a safe sanctuary, open to and affirming of all people. We affirm and celebrate the diversity of the human family and welcome persons of every race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, social and economic status, marital standing and faith background who seek to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We uphold the dignity and worth of each person and honor all loving and committed relationships. We celebrate families in all their diverse forms, whether traditional or non-traditional.

We believe that attitudes and acts of injustice, discrimination, and violence work against the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, with the help of God, we will strive to overcome these attitudes in ourselves and others. We are secure in the knowledge that God’s love is for everyone, and we invite all persons to join in the life and ministry of this church. We offer all sacraments and rites to all who enter our community of faith, and extend all responsibilities and privileges to those who choose covenant membership.

Relying on God’s grace, we stand together seeking justice, healing and wholeness of life for all, thus becoming an open and affirming congregation.

February 6, 2011