What is the United Church of Christ?
The United Church of Christ is the result of a merger in 1957 of denominations who decided that what we have in common in Christ is greater than what keeps us in part. The major denominations that are part of this merger are Congregational, Reformed, Christian, and Evangelical.
What We Believe
One of the hallmarks of the UCC is its great diversity in membership and a philosophy that encourages each person to study, think, and question for themselves. Even in our local congregation, you’ll find a great difference of opinion.
A quote we often use to explain our beliefs is “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, diversity. In all things, charity.”
We believe that all Christian churches are united through the body of Christ. This unity is not of our own making, or even by our own desire. It was a gift of Christ through the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost. (See Acts 2)
We believe that God spoke through the prophets, through Jesus Christ, through the apostles, and continues to speak to us today. God speaks to us through scripture, service, and prayer. Study of scriptures is not limited to historical insights. We expect new light to dawn, and new understanding to emerge in our age and every age.
We believe in the priesthood of all believers. All of us, by virtue of our baptism, are called to minister to one another in the church, and to spread the good news of the gospel through word and deed. When someone is “set apart” for ordination, we view that person as a servant of the church, not someone with complete authority over the church. All major decisions within a local congregation are made by its members, not the pastors. Read the UCC Statement of Faith
How We’re Organized
Local congregations have full autonomy to make decisions regarding the life of the church, including calling pastors, determining format for worship, buying and selling property, etc. There is a great diversity of opinion and practices across the UCC. Yet, we see ourselves as one church, part of the larger Church, the Body of Christ. Our logo “That they may all be One” reflects our commitment to unity within diversity.
Local congregations covenant with Associations and Conferences to work together in a geographic area. Trinity is a member of the Ursinus Association in the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference www.psec.org Together we care for each other in times of crisis and transition, provide resources and education to member churches, and engage in a common mission.
Each conference elects delegates every two years to attend the General Synod. At General Synod we consider the business of the Church and its relationship to the wider world. General Synod speaks “to” not “for” the member churches of the United Church of Christ. The 28th General Synod will meet in Tampa, Florida July 2011.
Between sessions of General Synod, business is carried out by the national offices located in Cleveland, which can be contacted through www.ucc.org.
Does this sound like a church you might be interested in?