In the spring of 2007, First Congregational Church in Melrose took the bold step of becoming an Open and Affirming Church in the United Church of Christ. This meant that our church welcomes gay and lesbian people into the full life and ministry of our church.
Since that time, we have been heartened to hear that the First United Methodist Church in Melrose has taken a similar stand and that the Highlands Congregational Church, UCC has also become an Open and Affirming Church. These follow the Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, which was the first in our city to adopt such a statement of welcome.
All of this is in keeping with a national cultural trend that has seen greater acceptance of same-gender couples and a growing number of laws to protect their rights.
That is why we were saddened to hear of the statement from the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America that reiterated an earlier policy specifically excluding homosexual people from involvement in their organization. This development gave our church cause to engage in a dialogue with not only the Boy Scout troop that meets at our church, but also the Boston Minuteman Council, to which this troop belongs.