Devotional Subject: Science

Devotional Subject: Science

What Matters

 

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 People of God's                We Belong to Christ                    We Are a People of Covenant
        Extravagant Welcome                                                                         a United and Uniting Church

                   

      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.


Not Mutually Exclusive

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For too long, science and faith have had a combustible relationship. But even churches evolve. In the UCC, we're not afraid of science and technology. In fact, we embrace it.

We are a bold, thinking church. We want to make clear the UCC's belief that science and religion are not mutually exclusive, and we extend our unequivocal welcome to persons who devote their lives to scientific inquiry.

We recently released a groundbreaking theological statement, "A New Voice Arising: A Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology," a new prophetic word about the millenniums-old feud between religion and science." Many today are hungering for an authentic spirituality that is intellectually honest and at home in a scientific era," the UCC's pastoral letter states. "They are searching for a new kind of wisdom to live by, one that is scientifically sophisticated, technologically advanced, morally just, ecologically sustainable, and spiritually alive."

The UCC Science and Technology Network

Science and technology issues face congregations every day. At work and in family life, we are faced with dilemmas, hope, and cultural changes involving technology. This creates a need for dialogue and conversation in the church.

Every local church has individuals who are scientists, science teachers, physicians, or people working in medical fields. The expertise of these individuals and the community can serve as good resources for churches.

The UCC STN believes that science, technology, and Christian faith can learn from each other. There is no formal membership, though a small steering committee exists to work ecumenically, consult when requested, and encourage with a ministry of empowerment denominational reflection on these themes with youth, young adults, college, adult education, and in our worshipping life with technology and new media as a resource - but also engaging the big questions of science and tech of our day.

That means any of your efforts in local churches and conferences are part of STN as a virtual community! Central to this task continues to be the UCC's Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology, and the one page study guide. We also encourage every church to designate a "Science & Tech Recognition Sunday" one Sunday each year on a date that works well in your church calendar. See worship resources linked here to help jump start - and invite youth and young adults as well as the scientists of the congregation, to participate in brainstorming and planning.



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Pastoral Letter Excerpts
Science and Faith Overview Disussion
Charles Townes - "The Laser Guy"

Advance praise for "A New Voice Arising:"

". . . we see a dialogue between science and religion as vital."

"I am delighted to see the United Church of Christ's clear support of science. I believe that science and religion are complementary to each other, and should not be seen as competing ways of looking at the world; they are concerned with different questions.  In an era of such rapid science and technology advances – advances that bring benefits as well as, at times, risks -- and when science and technology are becoming ever-more imbedded in every aspect of modern life, it is essential that we maintain an active dialogue among scientists, ethicists, and religious communities. In the same way that UCC states that it cannot ignore the context in which it functions, neither can the scientific community ignore its societal context. For this reason, we see a dialogue between science and religion as vital."

Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
American Association for the Advancement of Science





". . . a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and perceptive discussion of science and
religion . . ."

"This is a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and perceptive discussion of science and religion and growth of their helpful interaction.  We can look forward to still more scientific exploration and understanding of the nature of the universe and of human life, and with that I trust there will be still better understanding of creation, spirituality, and the future of humans."

Charles Townes
Nobel laureate for physics; Templeton prize recipient; Member, First Congregational UCC in Berkeley, Calif.





". . . a wonderfully clear summary of the serious challenges and exciting opportunities when traditional religious beliefs encounter recent discoveries in a range
of sciences . . ."

"This is a wonderfully clear summary of the serious challenges and exciting opportunities when traditional religious beliefs encounter recent discoveries in a range of sciences – from cosmology to evolution,  brain research and genetics. It also raises issues of social justice and environmental impacts arising from technology - from medical therapies to our unsustainable use of energy. It is truly a 'pastoral' letter in addressing personal questions in the lives of laypersons today rather than the more abstract debates common among theologians or philosophers."

Ian G. Barbour
Physicist and theologian
1999 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; Author, "When Science Meets Religion"
Member, First UCC in Northfield, Minn.


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.