First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720


You are welcome to follow along on our journey as 1st Congregational UCC becomes an “Open & Affirming” Church. Please click on any of the titles to read about this exciting endeavor.

June 2022 Entry            September 2022 Entry

July 2022 Entry

August 2022 Entry


Listed below are some suggested readings and links for more information about the Open & Affirming Movement.

Open and Affirming Media List


Informational Titles

The ABC’s of LGBT+ – by Ashley Mardell

Beyond the Gender Binary – by Alok Vaid-Menon

God and the Gay Christian – by Matthew Vines

What does God Think? Transgender People and the Bible – by Cheryl B. Evans

Memoir Titles

*TORN – by Justin Lee (Fall Book Group Title – see below)

I Have Something to Tell You – by Chasten Buttigieg

Boy Erased – by Garrard Conley

God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage – by Gene Robinson

Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church – by Sally Gary

In the Margins: A Transgender Man’s Journey with Scripture – Shannon T.L. Kearns

Fictional Titles

Small Town Pride – by Phil Stampler

VIDEOS  Matthew Vines’ talk on gay christians From This Day Forward Documentary

Ted Talks Non-binary talk The Baptist Pastor and his Trans Friends Hey Doc, Some Boys are born Girls What Kindergarten Taught Me about Gender Why I Chose My LGBTQ Daughter Over the Evangelical Church What the Bible Says About Homosexuality

WEBSITES  videos and resources about the church and LGBTQ  Great resource list of books  helpful list of what LGBTQ allies can do to show support and affirm. great website for resources


Freed Hearts with Susan Cottrell


Fall Book Group

TORN by Justin Lee.  Toby will lead a two-week discussion group via Zoom on Sunday, November 13, and November 20 from 7:00p – 8:30 p.m. Participants may purchase the book on their own or borrow it from the Church library. The title comes from the fact that as a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed “God Boy” by his peers, he felt called to the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: he was gay. Lee recalls coming out to his parents, his experiences with the “ex-gay” movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible, all of which led him, eventually, to self-acceptance. TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.

Please contact the Office at (231) 547-9122 or by email at to get on the email list for Zoom invites and information for this book group.