Across the UCC: Let it, therefore, be resolved...

Across the UCC: Let it, therefore, be resolved...

December 31, 2006
Written by Daniel Hazard

Across the UCC, members offer denominationally-specific New Year's Resolutions for 2007

 To be open, accepting, and affirming to the conservative-fundamental members and churches of the United Church of Christ.

Jeff Wallace, pastor
Union Congregational UCC, Gregory, S.D.
Hope Congregational UCC, Fairfax, S.D.
First Congregational UCC, Naper, Neb.

 To invite 50 people to visit our local UCC congregation. To reach out to 50 people who are estranged from our local UCC congregation. To pray earnestly for at least to 50 people who we consider to be enemies.

The Rev. Kirk Moore
St. Matthew UCC
Wheaton, Ill.

 To study the scriptures - not what others are saying about the scriptures, but study the scripture texts themselves! - in order to discern God's guidance and direction.

The Rev. Jeffrey Wagner
Lykens Valley Charge, UCC
Berrysburg, Pa.

 To keep focused on our commitment to unity within the Body of Christ. In these highly divisive political times, it is easy for us to forget that despite our differences, we are - not "can be," not "should be" - but are the Body of Christ. Let us remember that and act like it.

The Rev. Dianne Rood Kiesz
St. Paul's UCC
Eureka, S.D.

 To first prayerfully listen, in all that we do, to the God who is still speaking.

The Rev. Rebecca Delzell
Sharon Congregational UCC
South Royalton, Vt.

 To work diligently on behalf of the Prince of Peace - working for peace in our households, our neighborhoods, our states and throughout the world.

The Rev. John C Binkley
Palmyra, Pa.

 To greet each person as my teacher, each person as my friend.

The Rev. Linda White
Brookmeade UCC
Nashville, Tenn.

 To get those persons in the national office of the UCC responsible for distribution of "time sensitive materials" be enabled to get the materials out in such a manner that they be "time sensitive" and not "late on arrival."

The Rev. Dale Marshall
Fairfield Glade (Tenn.) Community UCC

 To stop passing resolutions that create so much alienation. (I was at Atlanta and I voted for the same-sex marriage resolution, but now I wish I hadn't. Not because of the issue, but because of the process. Maybe we need to move toward a process of consensus rather than majority vote.)

The Rev David Quinn
Christ Little Moore UCC
Danielsville, Pa.

 To share, teach and forgive. When difficult questions arise, ask "what would Christ do?" - and then do it.

Dean M. Mosemann
First Reformed UCC
Lancaster, Pa.

 To love the Lord our God will all our heart, mind and strength. Love our neighbor as ourselves. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus. Hide God's Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.

The Rev. Bryan E. Moore
Shepherd of the Hills UCC
Bechtelsville, Pa.

 To be one with God!

Richard Robbins
St John UCC
Bellevue, Ky.

 To welcome everyone to the table where Christ has welcomed us, and see our diversity not as divisions but rather as expressions of the strength of love.

The Rev. Keith M. Haithcock
St. John UCC
Bellevue, Ky.

 To see a sea of bright red commas, from sea to shining sea, proclaiming that "God is still speaking."

Susan Spiller Frindt
The Church in the Wildwood UCC
Green Mountain Falls, Colo.

 To remind our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as the community, the teaching of Christ is to "love thy neighbor" and, therefore, the church's mission should reflect that point through stewardship and acts of kindness and charity, and not about all the "rules and regulations" of old testament living.

David L. Hiser
St. John UCC
Bellevue, Ky.

 To support reforms to put people before profits, end racism, gender discrimination and homophobia, and seek to guarantee justice, economic security and basic needs for all. To end all wars and corporate greed, and to build God's true and just democracy of cooperation, fairness and peace, here, on earth.

Michael Adam Reale
New Hope UCC
Owensboro, Ky.

 To do justice, love kindness and walk humbly in the presence of our Creator. To boldly live out the prophetic call to be peacemakers and justice-seekers, modeling the inclusive love of Jesus Christ in all that we do, offering healing and challenge, comfort and disruption, in the name of the One we seek to love, serve and follow.

The Rev. Mary E. Westfall
Durham (N.H.) Community UCC

 To proclaim the welcoming love of God as we share who we are, and as we share who we are, may we celebrate the UCC by making sure it flourishes for generations.

The Rev. Lynne Smouse Lpez
Ainsworth UCC
Portland, Ore.

 To be the tears in the eyes of even more of God's children who have found, at last, a church that welcomes them with open arms and unconditional love.

Lois Beberniss
Shadow Rock UCC
Phoenix, Ariz.

 To respect and appreciate what others do, not what we "think" or "expect" them to do. To strengthen our outreach ministries by reaching out - to each other, to our community, to our world, enabling the sun to shine in brighter each and every day.

Toni L. Tice, treasurer
First Reformed UCC
Lancaster, Pa.

 To walk the walk and talk the talk. "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!"

The Donald C. Wetzel
St. Thomas UCC
Linglestown, Pa.

 That, as a progressive Christian, to not let the fundamentalists steal all of the good biblical words and I will not let the high liturgical churches hoard all of the good, historical liturgical practices. I resolve to redeem them for use in the 21st-century church.

The Rev. Phil Hoy
Zion UCC
Henderson, Ky.

 To be tolerant of the feelings of others. We may disagree on some issues, but we must learn how to agree to disagree without malice toward those who don't agree with us. To make room at the table for everyone regardless of our theological differences, and let there be peace and love toward all who carry the banner of the UCC.

The Rev. Joe Venable
Community Christian Fellowship UCC
Greensboro, N.C.

 To stop pushing our own personal agendas and start considering the whole body of Jesus Christ."

The Rev. George Heckard
Grace UCC
Shippensburg, Pa.

 To re-enchant the world with hope by sharing the good news of Jesus the Messiah.

The Rev Drew Willard
Holiday (Fla.) UCC

 To solicit and listen to the spiritual journeys of 12 members (one per month) of our congregations.

The Rev. Dan Hatch
Community UCC of Honolulu

 To use no acronyms, including "UCC." Newcomers will feel more informed and every time we say our name we will be a clear witness to who we are and whose we are.

The David Slater
First Parish Church, UCC
Dover, N.H.

 To resolve to love God with all our heart, mind, and muscle, and to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. To remember that peacemaking is quiet negotiation and/or appropriate confrontation and/or a risk to our own lives. To understand that the Way of Jesus is now as politically risky in the United States as it ever was in Latin America. To find bridges of loving and understanding between Marcus Borg's believers and transformers. To grasp that bridges between left and right will be built with listening empathy, justice and peacemaking.

The Rev. Marv Wiseman
Temple Congregational Church UCC
Marion, Ind.

 To "never place a period where God has placed a comma!"

The Rev. Rick Huleatt
First Church UCC
Windsor, Conn.

 To make every effort to evangelize the world through local and global outreach.

Sheila Crump
Word of Life UCC
Moncure, N.C.

 To remember that many of us do social justice 6 days a week and need some spiritual refreshment on Sunday!

Rosann Hickey
Greensboro (N.C.) UCC

 To offer a place of nurturing for people who have been wounded by life, a place of hospitality for the many lonely and marginalized of our world, a place of understanding for those who are cut off, a place of nourishment for people who are starving for love, a place of thanksgiving where God is praised for a multitude of blessings.

To offer a place of exploration - of new ideas, new people, new cultures, a place of challenge, where we are encouraged to live God's Gospel of grace, a place of reconciliation for people divided, a place of forgiveness so that we may live in God's amazing grace.

To offer a place where God's word is spoken, lived, shared, and celebrated, a place of welcome so all will know - no matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

The Rev. Susan J. Foster
East Woodstock (Conn.) Congregational UCC

 To prayerfully and ceaselessly work toward restoring the unity upon which we were founded and through which we are one.

The Rev. Robert C. Dievendorf
Friedens UCC
Farina, Ill.

 To be resolute in our stand for justice, educated in our approach to scripture, service-oriented in our stewardship of resources, open to new words of the Spirit, liberal in praise of others, conservative in criticism of others, virtuous in our living, exuberant in our welcome, extravagant in our love.

The Rev. Peggy Clark
Zwingli UCC
Souderton, Pa.

 To take positive action to make a difference for the poor and "downsized" unemployed in our churches and community. To replace debates, resolutions and speak-outs at the General Synod with sing-out groups sharing their favorite song of faith, hope and love. To take five minutes each day to listen to the God who is Still Speaking.

The Rev. Paul Ashby
Fellowship Congregational UCC
Tulsa, Okla.


Add your submission to the UCC's expectantly-diverse New Year's Resolutions for 2007. We'll post even more online as the big ball drops in Times Square.

Complete the following sentence: "In 2007, let us, the members of the United Church of Christ, resolve to..."

Before Wed., Dec. 13, send by e-mail to with "Soapbox" in the subject line. As always, United Church News reserves the right to edit your submission for clarity and brevity. 

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