ABOUT US

 
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WHAT WE BELIEVE

 
From the PREAMBLE of the THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.
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We can tell you more about our church with the help of seven phrases from Scripture and Tradition which express our commitments.
 
That they may all be one. [John 17:21]
This motto reflects the spirit of unity on which it is based and points toward future efforts to heal the divisions in the body of Christ. We are a uniting church as well as a united church.
 
In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things charity.
The unity that we seek requires neither an uncritical acceptance of any point of view, nor rigid formulation of doctrine. It does require mutual understanding and agreement as to which aspects of the Christian faith and life are essential.
 
The unity of the church is not of its own making.
It is a gift of God. But expressions of that unity are as diverse as there are individuals. The common thread that runs through all is love.
 
Testimonies of faith rather than tests of faith.
Because faith can be expressed in many different ways, we have no formula that is a test of faith. Down through the centuries, however, Christians have shared their faith with one another through creeds, confessions, catechisms and other statements of faith. Historic statements are valued in our church as authentic testimonies of faith.
 
There is yet more light and truth to break forth from God’s holy word.
This affirmation by one of the founders of the Congregational tradition assumes the primacy of the Bible as a source for understanding the Good News and as a foundation for all statements of faith. It recognizes that the Bible, though written in specific historical times and places, still speaks to us in our present condition. It declares that the study of the scriptures is not limited by past interpretations, but it is pursued with the expectation of new insights and God’s help for living today.
 
The Priesthood of All Believers.
All members of the church are called to minister to others and to participate as equals in the common worship of God, each with direct access to the mercies of God through personal prayer and devotion. Recognition is given to those among us who have received special training in pastoral, priestly, educational and administrative functions, but these persons are regarded as servants—rather than as persons in authority. Their task is to guide, to instruct, to enable the ministry of all Christians rather than to do the work of ministry for us.
 
Responsible Freedom.
As individual members of the Body of Christ, we are free to believe and act in accordance with our perception of God’s will for our lives. But we are called to live in a loving, covenantal relationship with one another—gathering in communities of faith, congregations of believers, local churches.