Devotional Subject: Marriage

Devotional Subject: Marriage

Heart, Soul, Mind, and Neck

Vince Amlin

I'm always a little wary when a couple comes in for premarital counseling and they say they've never had an argument.


Fierce Love

I wish more couples would choose this verse from Song of Songs for their weddings rather than the more popular passage from I Corinthians (love is patient, love is kind, zzzzzzzz).


10 Signs You Should Not Be Getting Married in a Church

May God bless all those who marry, wherever they may do so, that they will rejoice even more in love's winter than in its springtime.


Marriage Equality

 

 

 

Watch Faith and Morality Play Major Roles in Gay Marriage Debate on PBS. 
Aspects of religion and morality have been used as the basis for arguments by both sides of the debate on same-sex marriage. Ray Suarez talks with Michael Schuenemeyer, minister for the United Church of Christ, and Richard Langer, a minister with the Evangelical Free Church of America, to learn how they've approached the topic.

The UCC is part of the United for Marriage Coalition.

Click here to see photos from the Interfaith Service and Rallies at the U.S. Supreme Court for the oral arguments in the two marriage cases: Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and Windsor v. United States (Defense of Marriage Act - DOMA), March 26 & 27, 2013.

Marriage Equality and the UCC

Marriage is one of the most significant institutions in our culture. The sacred and civil, church and state dimensions of marriage are complex and often muddled, which makes marriage one of the most challenging issues to discuss in the church and beyond.

On July 4, 2005, at the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, delegates voted to adopt the resolution, "Equal Marriage Rights for All" The resources below are provided to help facilitate conversations and study throughout the church and society on this complex and challenging matter which has important implications for individuals, families and the wider community. They are intended to get people of faith talking about the purposes of marriage, looking more closely at how marriage has evolved and changed through time biblically and socially, exploring the theology of marriage, and critically discerning the appropriate roles for the church and the state in marriage.

The colleagues who worked together to prepare these resources join the Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ who, in calling us to this important dialog say, "let us explore our faith in relation to these issues: the meaning of Christian marriage, the blessing of unions among same-sex couples, the honoring of diverse expressions of loving and caring human relationships, being guided in all things by the love of Jesus. Above all, may these conversations be ventured in humility and prayer."


General Synod 25 (2005) Marriage Resolution

Equal Marriage Rights for All [PDF]

Equal Marriage Rights for All with background text [PDF]

Reflections by General Minister and President, The Rev. John H. Thomas 

Call to Action and Invitation to Dialogue, UCC Executive Council (2004)

Call to Dialogue, UCC Conference Ministers (1996)

  Attention Clergy: 

Please consider signing-on to the
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing's "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality"

Online clergy registry being developed
If you are clergy living in California and you will perform same sex marriages, please register with California Faith for Equality. 
To register click here.

Resources 

Inclusive Liturgy from the UCC Book of Worship

Order for Marriage - an inclusive version [PDF]

Certificate - An embossed certificate for presentation to a couple at their covenant service (envelope included). 
Produced by the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns.  Click here to order online, or call UCC Resources at 800-537-3394800-537-3394.

STUDY: 
God Is Still Speaking about Marriage [Newly Revised, June 2008]
Recommended by General Synod 25

  • An in depth Christian education study resource on marriage, including marriage equality for same gender loving couples.
    Free Download [PDF] or call UCC Resources to order [Item# WCMGSM], 800-537-3394800-537-3394.
 

Sacred Covenants, Faithful Conversation, a DVD resource for talking about marriage.
This DVD contains two items: a 30 minute video on the question of marriage equality in light of the resolution adopted by General Synod 25 (2005) and the 45 minute floor debate on the marriage equality resolution at General Synod 25.  Order from UCC Resourcesor call (toll free) 800-537-3394800-537-3394, Item# WCMSCFC

 

 

UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns

Audio

  • Marriage Equality Debate
    This is an audio link to a debate on the civil right to marry for same sex couples held at Stanford University School of Law, on April 20, 2005. The participants in the debate were Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry and Rev. Lou Sheldon, President of the Traditional Values Coalition. 

 

Articles

Books

  • Same-Sex Marriage? A Christian Ethical analysis by Marvin Ellison, (Pilgrim Press 2004)
  • What God Has Joined Together, A Christian Case for Gay Marriage by David G. Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni (Harper San Francisco 2005)
  • Gay Unions in the Light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason by Gray Temple (Church Publishing 2004)
  • Why Marriage Matters, America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry by Evan Wolfson (Simon and Schuster 2004)
  • Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell (Vintage Books 1994)
  • Christianity and the Making of the Modern Family by Rosemary Radford Ruether (Beacon Press 2000) 

Press Releases

To the faithful who worked to defeat Question 1 in Maine

Links

UCC 

Others

 


Young Adults

Who are UCC young adults?

In the UCC, young adults are considered those between the ages of 18 and 30. The reality is that a young adult could be female, male, a student, a professional, single, married, a parent, still living with a parent, Generation X or a Millennial, a seminarian, an ordained minister, someone who hasn't set foot in a church since high school and anything in between. "Young Adult" is a distinction of age that encompasses a group as diverse and dynamic as any in the UCC.

 

How can young adults get involved?

 

Young Adult Service Communities

Young Adult Service Communities are unique opportunities for you to live in intentional community with others who share your commitment to service and social justice. Together, you will find the space to reflect on questions of meaning and to network for change.

Service and Justice Internships

The YASC network gives you the opportunity to grow professionally and change the world through intern placements with local nonprofit agencies, which are dedicated to justice advocacy and collaborative action.

Congregational Service

Your placement will also allow you the opportunity to grow spiritually as you serve in a leadership position at a United Church of Christ congregation. Through this work you can see the convergence of church and world.

Conscientious Community

Finally, YASC provides you a space to grow personally by living in community with other young leaders, exploring together your direction, calling and future action in the world.


Summer Communities of Service

The Summer Communities of Service program is an ecumenical collaboration between the UCC Volunteer Ministries and Alliance of Baptists. Particpants live and serve from June to mid-August in host congregations from around the United States. There a four fundamental facets, which together form the foundation of the SCOS program:

Community Living   

The "intentional Christian community element" makes this program distinct and effective. Interns share a common food allowance, transportation funds and spiritual growth insights. Participants live in community with each other and with their hosts in their temporary city.

Leadership Development 

In the UCC and Alliance of Baptists diversity is a big piece of our identity. Both churches uphold socially progressive statements and advocate politically from a faith perspective. Diverse, community-service-integrated ministries show interns, congregations, the wider church and world where this faith-inspired work is happening in our midst. The SCOS projects help interns develop long-term commitment to engage in this kind of ministry.     

Hands-On Justice Advocacy/Service Opportunities 

Grow professionally. Change the World.

Faith Conversations

Grow Personally. Grow Spiritually.


Global Mission Interns - Global Ministries

The Global Mission Intern program invites you to challenge yourself in a one to three year international mission service opportunity. As you offer yourself in service, you will also learn more about yourself, your relationship with God, and your place in God’s world. You will build relationships that will change the way you look at the world. You will be a part of a growing group of young adults who have been transformed by these experiences and will provide you a new community on return. You will come back from your year in mission equipped to provide a global perspective on issues facing the church in our hurting world today.


Mission Trip Opportunities

The UCC national setting recommends sites within the United States that host mission opportunities for groups. These host sites are rooted in local communities and utilize volunteer groups in their on-going service within those places. Volunteers experience God’s presence among new people and in new places through these experiences. UCC Mission Trip Opportunities are short-term, lasting up to a week.


Outdoor Ministries Association

Working together as a significant partner in the ministry and future of the church, OMA seeks to advise, connect and advocate on behalf of the network of persons responsible for Outdoor Ministries in the United Church of Christ. The Outdoor Ministry Association works to support and encourage the staff, volunteers, board members and conferences at these special places; to promote outdoor ministries in all areas of the church; and to celebrate the many wonders of God's nature!


Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministry

The Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries (CYYAM) advocates, communicates, coordinates, and networks on behalf of youth and young adults of the UCC. CYYAM members work together and with other church leaders to establish strong youth and young adult ministries throughout the UCC by advocating to church leaders, helping make youth and young adult voices heard at General Synod, seeking to address issues of social justice and peace, and serving as a voice for UCC youth and young adults.


Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice LED)

The vision of Justice & Witness Ministries is of a more just, peaceful and compassionate world that honors all of God’s creation. Leaders are needed throughout our churches and communities to help share, pursue and achieve this vision. Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice LED) is a program that offers training, leadership skills and support to local churches and UCC members who seek tangible ways to move our world towards this vision.


Our Whole Lives

Together with Sexuality and Our Faith, Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of sexuality.