The Loop Church in Chicago, Illinois, is one of many affirming churches in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Below, you will find their statement.
If your congregation should be included in our list, please let us know!
(Scroll down for info on joining The Loop for worship.)
Loop Church – Chicago, IL
Loop Church desires to be an open and affirming Christian Reformed Church in the city of Chicago. The term “open and affirming” is a designation used by churches and congregations to publicly articulate their desire for the full participation of people in the life of the church regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or relationship status.
At Loop Church this means that our Sunday worship, table fellowship and community service are open to all. Loop Church affirms the calling of our LGBTQ siblings in Christ to ordained leadership in the church. Loop Church affirms the desire of people in same-sex relationships to faithfully enter into and celebrate the covenant of marriage and supports those who faithfully live in singleness.
The term “open and affirming” can also designate the type of welcome we seek to offer anyone regardless of other markers of identify such as age, economic status, educational attainment, political leaning, (dis)ability, or immigration status. Such a welcome is not radical or progressive, but simply the type of hospitality demanded by God and displayed by Jesus Christ.
Our desire to be full “open and affirming” does not mean that we live out this welcome perfectly, and it does not mean that every church member holds the same theology or view of human sexuality. Within our denomination there is a diversity of interpretations around how the Bible speaks into the possibility of same-sex relationships. As a local church we commit to becoming an “open and affirming” Christian community. We also believe that such a commitment should not become a litmus test of belonging for those who believe differently or are still wrestling. We are committed to meeting each person where they are at in their faith journey, and walking with one another in love even if we disagree.
LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Our Denomination
Like many denominations, the CRCNA has wrestled with the issue of human sexuality by seeking a Biblically-informed and theologically-sound position on issues such as same-sex relationships, marriage and divorce, and sexual abuse in the church. Study committees have been formed, reports written, and positions approved with the intention of offering churches helpful guidance and pastoral advice for their ministry.
Despite the desire for faithful responses to contentious issues, there has been a history and tradition of excluding and restricting the full participation of LGBTQ+ people in the life of the church. Lesbian or gay people in the church have been instructed to live a life of celibacy or face church discipline.
As we lament the real harm that these denominational decisions have caused LGBTQ+ people and their friends and family, Loop Church firmly believes that the church can and must be a place of welcome and hospitality to all.
While there is real tension in claiming to be an “open and affirming” church in a non-affirming denomination, we will exist in that tension, living and loving as best we can. We trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to move within our community to make it a place of welcome, encouragement, prayer, hope, love, and service for all people.
(We meet at 10 am Sunday mornings at East West University (first three Sundays of every month) and online (remaining Sundays). Contact us for online info: https://www.loopchurch.org/contact
Past sermons and transcripts are available here: https://www.loopchurch.org/sermons)