The following is the text of the welcoming statement adopted by the First Church, UCC at its annual meeting Jan. 24:

We, the people of the First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ, declare ourselves to be a gathered body of Christians, ever open to the voice of the Still Speaking God. In the spirit of those who worshiped here before us for over 200 years, we strive to witness God’s love and Jesus’ example in the wider community. To that end, we engage and support all people, whoever they may be and wherever they are on their spiritual journey, in worship, fellowship and service.

We intentionally and joyfully welcome people of every race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, physical and mental ability, socio-economic situation and faith background into the full life, ministry, sacraments and leadership of this church. We celebrate and support family in all its diverse forms and recognize and bless all loving and committed relationships. Together, we will strive, in the words of the prophet Micah, “to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.”