The Keene Valley Congregational Church lay led Open and Affirming (ONA) Task Force is continuing the journey of inviting our community to more deeply welcome sexual and gender minorities into the life of the church.

Following the recent film showing of National Geographic’s Gender Revolution, we have been asked for other resources on the topic of gender identity and expression.  Our Task Force invites you to consider reading the nonfiction book, Becoming Nicole by Nicole Maines.  (Our libraries can get a copy for you.)

Check out the internet Link to view the YouTube video of Becoming Nicole author Nicole Maines give a TED talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXnTAnsVfN8

You can also contact us with questions or comments at kvcc12943@gmail.com.


Local book group leader and KVCC Church Member, Ethel Webb, says “Becoming Nicole is an inspiring account of the transformation of an infant boy becoming the girl she knew she was, with the constant support and advocacy of her twin brother and remarkable parents. The book includes the scientific explanation of the transgender experience, as well as the step by step carefully calibrated medical intervention involved in support of full transformation.  It highlights various aspects of the battle for societal acceptance and support of transgender individuals (especially children) as well as the ongoing psychological toll on (in this case) a child and her entire family. The experience of reading the book was in itself transformational, as well as educational.  I highly recommend it!”

Post 1:ONA Task Force answer the question: why did you join this group?


Our ONA Task Force has been busy listening to our congregants and community about how they feel about our undertaking the Open and Affirming process.  Right now, we have spoken with over forty members and hope to hear from everyone, full time residents, seasonal folks, Church members and our broader community about their thoughts and ideas.  


Feel free to contact any of us on the Task Force….we are interested in your views.


Below are the initial thoughts from each of our Task Force Members and ex officio member, Pastor John.  It is a snapshot on where we are right now in this journey.  Click here to read.


Post 2:  ONA October meeting notes:      Click here for notes on the meeting.

Post 3:  ONA January Meeting notes:      Click here for notes on the meeting.

Post 4:  ONA February Meeting notes:     Click here for notes on the meeting

As you may know, the Keene Valley Congregational Church now has an Open and AFFIRMING (ONA) task force comprised of volunteers.  The Task Force made a covenant with the congregation to listen for where God's Spirit is inviting our community to more deeply welcome sexual and gender minorities into the life or our church, respect and encourage the congregation to share its opinions and thoughts about being an ONA congregation within the United Church of Christ, and build consensus among our membership on how we would like to reflect God's radical hospitality to all humanity.  

Likewise, the congregation pledged support to the Task Force, and the ONA process, in a spirit of grace.

Our Task Force was very moved by the August 27 sermon, "The Body of Christ" by Rev. Suzy Allen.  We are providing a link HERE in hopes that you will read this deeply personal, message of  challenges in going beyond being open to an one of affirmation.  Each of our Task Force members are deeply moved by her message and want to share it with you as part of a conversation, and we look forward to listening to you, our beloved community. 

Task Force Members: (contact us!)

Carol Blakeslee-Collin, Harrison Caner, Susy Doolittle  (co-lead), Karen Glass, Shawn LaMarche, Jim Marlatt, Paul Martin, Barbara Merle-Smith, Debby Rice (co-lead), Hope Stone