ONA is the code word in the United Church of Christ meaning that a congregation has studied, and voted (and many times argued) to affirm gay and lesbian people as full members (and God forbid try to straighten them out). ONA stands for Open and Affirming and is often a very difficult process for a Church to undertake.

My Church is a textbook example of a group of people who think they love everyone, but when asked to examine something that is personally uncomfortable, (i.e. their own sexuality) their taboos kick in and ... no more meetings. No meetings, no further discussion, and as far as I can tell, we never really talked about it in the first place. Did we? Does anyone remember that meeting? No? Hummm. I must have dreamt it.

So I ponder the evolution of this topic in my Church. The Old Guard (charter members) are about 5-8 years from meeting their maker so maybe on top of their remains enough sun, soil and water will be present to ask again... Shall we become ONA? Being in a diversity vaccuum (Eastern Washington) it could conceivably take 10-15 years for love to overpower tradition. Ah... what a shame.

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