What Matters includes a variety of resources to connect your questions of faith with the deep faith expressed by the UCC. Discover what matters through reflection, stories from UCC congregations and members, stories from history, Bible study, prayer, worship, and service.
Explore on your own or with others. There are plenty of suggestions for seekers, new member classes, baptism preparation or membership groups, or pastor classes. For ideas about how use What Matters with groups, click here. Discover the questions and insights of those not familiar with the UCC in the article "What Matters to Visitors and Seekers?"
To explore one of the six vital themes, simply click a photo below.
We Are One at Baptism We Thank God by Working We Listen for the
and the Table for a Just and Loving World Still-speaking God
What Matters to You? Matters to Us - Engaging Six Vital Themes of OurFaith by Sidney D. Fowler is a new book for individual or group study based on core themes of
the United Church of Christ.
Also available is What Matters for Children and Families by Frank Proctor based on the same six vital themes.
Order both new books by calling 800-537-3394
or from United Church Resources.
Get Copies of the What Matters brochures!
You can also order colorful, engaging brochures.
Great for visitors, inquirers, as well as long-time members.
To order, call toll free, 800.537.3394.
Cost: $15.00 per bundle of 50. Order from a variety of available covers with identical inside copy:
"Find Yourself. We have GPS." #LCMCV1A
"Please Return" #LCMCV1C
"United Not Divided" #LCMCV1D
What Matters is written by Sidney D. Fowler. Designed by Duy-Khuong Van (risingflare.com)
Copyright © 2005 - 2008 Congregational Vitality in the United Church of Christ.
The United Church of Christ has been a leader among churches on issues of justice related to women. It’s in our DNA, you might say.
Yes, we were the first Christian denomination to ordain a woman when Antoinette Brown was ordained in 1853. But even before then, women who were members of our congregations lived their faith through advocacy to end the practice of slavery in the United States, to establish homes for poor women, and support educational opportunities for women. Later, they were active in securing women’s right to vote and to work for fair wages.
From the mid-1900’s to the present day, the UCC has continued this legacy through its advocacy for reproductive justice for all women, its call to end violence against women, its critical work on gender inclusive language as an issue of justice for all humankind, and its insistence on connecting the realities of sexism and racism. And more.
This work is local and global, personal and community-wide. It comes from a faith which affirms the full personhood of women as created in the image of God and included in the ministry of Jesus as partners, disciples and bearers of the Good News.
Revisiting the Helms Amendment
Women's Bodies are Not Battlefields
The Helms Amendment, enacted in 1973, states that foreign assistance may not be used "to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions." Each administration since then, Democratic and Republican alike, has chosen to interpret the provision as an absolute ban on funding any abortions, with no exceptions for women and girls whose lives are in danger or who have been victims of sexual violence. Cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment, are not "family planning," yet the law has been misinterpreted for decades to restrict the care women can receive in hospitals and clinics. It is time for the U.S. government to change the way it responds to the needs of those recovering from sexual trauma. (Read more.)
Teen Dating Violence Awareness
Our religious heritage compels and guides us in creating a safe environment where people can come to understand and respond to the challenges facing them as sexual beings.
Here are some resources geared toward teens for health sexuality education and anti-violence awareness and training."
Our Whole Lives – Resources for Grades 7-9
Check out the second edition of the UCC/UUA sexuality education program Our Whole Lives geared toward youth in grades 7 to 9. The second edition introduces new content, activities, perspectives, language, and resources that will help today's young teens make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior by providing accurate, age-appropriate information. New topics in the second edition include
- Bullying and bystander responsibilities;
- Sexuality, social media, and the Internet;
- Body image; consent education; and communicating with a sexual partner.
Amy Johnson, our UCC Our Whole Lives coordinator, has written several helpful articles on teen dating violience:
- Let's talk about sex ... and consent
- Scary stats: Teen break-ups and domestic violence
- Standing on the side of love
Resources from Partners
- Break the Cycle has some excellent resources for empowering youth to end DV. Their mission is to inspire and support young people to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.
- Love Is Respect - Teens can text "LOVEIS" to 22522 or call 1-866-331-9474 to chat with a trained peer advocate and get more info.
Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court
An Update After the Hobby Lobby Decision: What It Means and Some Next Steps
Recently the Supreme Court handed down a decision with startling implications for individuals’ religious liberty and women’s access to contraceptive coverage. Find out what the decision means, and what UCC advocates are trying to do about it.
Health Equity, Racial Justice, and the Supreme Court Decision on Contraception
The Supreme Court decision giving some corporations the right to deny coverage of certain types of contraception to their employees based on religious freedom will have a great impact on women of color. Although, the ruling does not single out women of color, our political and economic realities tell us that women of color often bear the brunt of the negative impacts of restrictions on women’s health.
Justice for Women - Learn More:
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Grow Personally. Grow Spiritually.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.