The Vision Plan of the National Setting of the UCC
Drawn together by the Holy Spirit, we are a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church, joining faith and action. In covenant with the church in all of its settings, we serve God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world as made manifest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our faith is 2000 years old. Our thinking is not. God is still speaking,
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here.
Never place a period where God has placed a comma
Bold, Inspirational Goals (BIGS)
1. Bold, Public Voice
The UCC is a bold, widely-known and respected public voice of Christianity in service of God's ever-unfolding mission.
2. Welcoming, Reachable Congregations
There is a welcoming UCC community of faith that is accessible to all — no matter who they are or where they are on life's journey.
3. Engaged Discipleship
Every UCC person is well-equipped to be growing in faith, biblically-literate, theologically conversant, and active in the national and global mission of the church.
4. Excellent, Diverse Leaders
The UCC has a wealth of prepared, excellent leaders that reflect the diversity of God's beloved community.
Initiatives (as of May 1, 2014)
Reading Changes Lives
A sustained all-church literacy initiative that acknowledges that literacy is a social justice issue and seeks to educate the wider church about literacy's impact on a wide range of social justice issues. An inaugural "One Read" will be launched in September 2014, followed by "March Forth for Literacy" in March 2015 with measurable goals. Additional events and projects will continue throughout 2015.
Launched in July 2013, Extravagance UCC is a new church start and online community that is accessible to all who want to experience and deepen their faith in relationship to the United Church of Christ, without regard to geographic location.
The Congo Initiative
The Congo Initiative is a programmatic emphasis of Global Ministries, the shared ministry of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Introduced in July 2013, this 18-month initiative addresses the Congo crisis by working with our churches and Congolese partners in the areas of advocacy, education, people-to-people exchanges and fundraising support.
Justice Leaders Engaging & Developing (LED)
Justice Leaders Engaging & Developing (LED) is a flexible, biblically-grounded, non-issue-based justice curriculum and training program designed to engage and develop justice leaders for the church and community. The newly expanded program includes webinars focused on justice best practices and strategies to support individuals and congregations following their initial training.
The Stillspeaking Leadership Institute
A unique leadership development network designed to equip, connect, and sustain lay and clergy leaders within the United Church of Christ of all ages and diversities with creative and cutting-edge leadership skills to further the mission and ministry of the church.
Intercultural Ministries Rising
An inspiring model of ministry approach toward Intercultural Multi-ethnic (I'M) Ministries that is led by prepared and committed clergy and laypersons. Extravagant welcome is demonstrated through justice engagement, and diverse practices of hospitality and accessibility, vibrant worship, and faith formation.
The Stillspeaking Worship Institute
An inspiring model of ministry approach toward worship, hosted by diverse local churches or other settings, with an emphasis on the experience of culturally diverse, accessible and replicable approaches to worship — with lived, shared experiences as the primary teaching tools. The first Institute will be held in fall 2014.
Since 2006, more than 250 new UCC congregations have opened their doors, establishing progressive justice-minded faith communities across the United States. That equals more new congregations than at any other time since the 1960s. The Testimony! initiative is working to support even more new UCC congregations that are demonstrating great promise for growth and vitality. The initiative has already raised more than $325,000 toward its initial $1 million goal.
The "Faith, In" Project
Introduced in July 2012 at National Youth Event, the "Faith, In" Project is a missional "God is still speaking," ministry and marketing initiative that further positions the United Church of Christ in its engagement with God's movement in the neighborhoods, towns and cities where God calls us to serve. More than 150 congregations have already lifted up "faith, in" their local communities, and the project continues to bring focus to innovative and community-engaged ministries across the life of the UCC.
Mission 4/1 Earth
Mission 4/1 Earth was introduced, with measurable environmental goals, as an all-church mission initiative during the 50-day Eastertide period in 2013. During this short time period, congregations planted more than 140,000 trees, participated in more 600,000 hours of environmental care, and wrote more than 50,000 advocacy letters about environmental justice. Mission 4/1 Earth's initial event raised significant awareness around the church about climate change and environmental ministries. Congregations continue to participate in designated Mission 4/1 Earth projects and programs.