Written by Daniel Hazard
A seven-volume book series that documents the history of the United Church of Christ and its predecessors was celebrated and dedicated by General Synod on July 4.
"The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ," a series, which brings together the key materials that undergird UCC faith and practice, was created by a team of 13 editors, four associate editors and an editorial board of seven.
"The Living Theological Heritage provides us the opportunity to reclaim our history and to discover how the current commitments of the UCC are deeply rooted in all of our historical traditions," said the Rev. John H. Thomas, general minister and president of the UCC. "It will be a marvelous resource for teaching and preaching. As we continue to try and articulate our identity, The Living Theological Heritage will help us keep faithful to our past even as we attend to the new challenges of our day."
Creators say the volumes will serve as a "quarry" of resources that will be mined by the UCC's more than 5,700-plus churches for years to come.
The Rev. Barbara Brown Zikmund, editor of the series, said the historical volumes will provide an opportunity to celebrate the church's history even as it informs its future.
"Through these stories ... pronouncements and sermons, we can remember our diverse theological viewpoints, hear our weaknesses and celebrate our courage," said Zikmund, a church historian, former president of UCC-related Hartford Theological Seminary and current Global Ministries missionary in Japan.
The volumes are a collection of important materials that have shaped the theological identity of the UCC, including ancient Christological discourses, 16th century treatises by Reformation theologians, the Heidelberg Catechism, writings and sermons from colonial Congregationalism, the Cambridge Platform, mission statements, popular hymns and protest literature.
The materials, which span the first century through the 20th century, were included in the volumes because, according to editors, they had impacted the shaping the UCC's theological identity.
The seven-volume set is available from unitedchurchpress.com or by calling 800-537-3394.