Our Denomination: the United Church of Christ
We are people of God’s extravagant welcome.
Jesus didn’t turn people away, even those often rejected by others. We don’t intend to either. We are like a “company of strangers,” made family by the grace of God. God welcomes, claims, and loves all people. God also feeds our hunger, forgives our sins, and frees us from aimless wandering.
This is no idle chatter.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) has been bold in extending an invitation to all. For example, we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African American pastor (1785), a woman (1853), the first mainline denomination to ordain a gay or lesbian person (1972), and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry (2005).
Come share the journey with us.
We are one at Baptism and at the Table. God’s grace is celebrated in Baptism and Holy Communion. We call these rituals “sacraments.” Through the water of baptism, God embraces you—no matter who you are—and brings you into Christ’s church. Baptism reminds us of our special covenant with God. In it, you share in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. In turn, the church promises to love, support, and care for you throughout your whole life. At Holy Communion, we share a simple meal of bread and cup. Here, we encounter Christ’s presence. Together, around God’s welcome table, we recall God’s loving acts in Jesus, experience oneness in God, hope for a time when all will be fed, and anticipate the fullness of God’s love and justice throughout creation.
Come to the water of baptism and the table of Christ.
Receive God’s goodness and love. We are a people of covenant, a united and uniting church.God invites us into a special relationship called “covenant.” The Bible speaks of God’s holy covenants with people, communities of faith, nations, and all of creation.
As God covenants with us, we covenant with one another.
Local churches also covenant—prayerfully acting on their own, but also relating with associations, conferences, the General Synod, and national settings of the UCC. We covenant with many other Christian denominations, and pray that all may be one (John 17:21). This prayer extends beyond the unity of all churches to the reconciliation of the whole world. Read the covenant of this local congregation.
All are welcome into a special relationship with God, especially you.
We listen for the Still-speaking God.
Founded in 1957, the UCC is grounded in the ancient church of the New Testament and in historic streams of Christianity in this country, dating back to the Pilgrims in New England and the German immigrants in colonial Pennsylvania. We affirm the words of our Pilgrim forbearer John Robinson, that God has “yet more light and truth to break forth…” (1621)
In our generation, we seek and serve God in innovative ways. God continues to form us through new people among us, offering a multicultural mosaic that reflects all of creation. We celebrate our common ground, while honoring our differences: “In essentials, union; in nonessentials, diversity; in all things, charity.”
Through prayer, sacraments, and worship; through the arts and sciences; through compassionate and political acts; and particularly in the voices of those who suffer, God is at work in our hearts and minds, in faith communities, and in the wider world.
Look. Listen all around. God’s trying to tell us something.
We thank God by working for a just and loving world.
Jesus taught about the realm of God. This realm is one of love and justice, hope and peace. We see it in the past, particularly in the life of Christ. But we also glimpse it in the present, and look for the fulfillment of it in the future. God’s promise extends even beyond death to life eternal. God continues to break through the barriers of sin and death in the bold witness of God’s people. In gratitude to God, we seek to root out injustice; to stand in solidarity with those who are poor and oppressed; to give with inspiring generosity; to care for the earth; and even to sometimes go against the grain of conventional norms.
You are invited to both the joy and responsibility of discipleship.
We belong to Christ.
We believe in the freedom and responsibility of the individual soul and the right of private judgment and impose no creedal statement as a test of membership. We do, however, while reserving the right of private interpretation, accept the statement of faith adopted by the United Church of Christ in 1981, as follows: United Church of Christ Statement of Faith.
No single statement fully expresses who God is; but where there is justice, peace, and compassion, we see the living God at work in history. To such a God, we belong.
How do you know God? Tell us your story. Let’s grow together.