Written by Daniel Hazard
Every successful organization knows it needs an attractive, engaging brochure to welcome and inform newcomers. The UCC, at last, has a new one.
Intended to supplant the aging "Who We Are, What We Believe" - an ever-popular, but decades-old handout used by many UCC congregations - the UCC's Local Church Ministries, as part of its Congregational Vitality Initiative (CVI), has produced a new denominational brochure that uses fresher language and an updated look to explore UCC faith and identity.
Reminiscent of the UCC's Stillspeaking identity effort, the square, eight-panel brochure makes good use of the campaign's "look and feel," including the now-customary colors of red and black, according to Randy Varcho, the UCC's art director.
"Our hope is that all resources produced by the national ministries will mirror the Stillspeaking brand," Varcho says. "It's a slow process, but we're getting there."
The new brochure, he says, is a great example of good form and function, because it takes seriously the artistic need for a "UCC look" while still effectively speaking to the target audience - those in need of helpful, introductory information about the UCC.
Each brochure contains the same inside content, but there are five versions of the front cover, each using a different creative caption: "Please Return. No Questions Asked," "United - Not Divided - By Faith," "Find Yourself. We Have GPS," "What Matters to You? Matters to Us," and "Our Faith is Over 2000 Years Old. Our Thinking is Not."
"There's a lot of energy and pride these days surrounding the Stillspeaking brand, so we partnered its look, including the now-familiar headlines, to the more comprehensive CVI faith and identity message," Varcho says.
Intended to function as a foundational resource for seekers, visitors and long-time members alike, the brochure's message focuses on six familiar UCC topics:
We are people of God's extravagant welcome.
We are one at Baptism and at the Table.
We are people of covenant, a united and uniting church.
We listen for the Stillspeaking God.
We thank God by working for a just and living world.
We belong to Christ.
"No single statement fully expresses who God is," the brochure reads. "But where there is justice, peace and compassion, we see the living God at work in history. To such a God, we belong."
The new UCC brochure is available in bundles of 50 for $15, either in assorted title packs (10 each of the five titles) or in 50-count packs of a single title. Call United Church of Christ Resource toll free at 800/537-3394.