Written by Daniel Hazard
Ninety new congregations were celebrated at General Synod 25 in Atlanta for having recently received standing in the UCC, or for being in formation or conversation with the denomination within the past two years.
Representatives from those "new" congregations danced and sang their way onto the plenary floor on July 4 during a celebration that heralded a renewed eagerness for UCC growth and vitality.
Holding up glossy red and black "God is Still Speaking" signs — each containing the name of one of the churches — visitors paraded as delegates waved red and black pom-poms.
In addition, since General Synod, the UCC's evangelism ministry reports dozens of phone calls and emails from persons interested in starting UCC congregations or from existing congregations that are expressing an interest in joining the UCC.
"The General Synod has unleashed a groundswell of excitement and possibility for new churches," says the Rev. David Schoen of the UCC's evangelism ministry in Cleveland.
The Rev. Timothy C. Downs, Southeast Conference Minister, reports that, within one week after General Synod, four congregations had contacted him and were expressing an interest in joining the UCC.
Schoen describes this as a "kairos moment" for new church development in the UCC.
"This is an opportunity not to miss," Schoen says. "Already we are working on our evangelism ministry team with our conference partners to see how we can grow our Stillspeaking witness, especially in the South, by doubling the number of new UCC congregations in the next five years."
Here is a list of congregations, grouped by Conference, that have either received standing in the UCC or have been in formation or discussion with the UCC since General Synod 24 in Minneapolis:
Northern California – Nevada
First Samoan Congr. UCC, Alameda, Calif.
First Samoan Congr. UCC, Stockton, Calif.
Faith Community UCC, Oakland, Calif.
First Samoan Congr. Community UCC, Suisun, Calif.
Oasis Fellowship UCC, Sacramento, Calif.
Vaiola Samoan Congr. UCC, Fremont, Calif.
Southern California – Nevada
Bloom in the Desert UCC, Palm Springs, Calif.
First Samoan Reformed UCC, Oceanside, Calif.
Immanuel UCC, Los Angeles, Calif.
Grace UCC, Annandale, N.J.
Ekalesia Samoan Congr. UCC, Milwaukie, Ore.
Island Community Chuukese Fellowship UCC, Salem, Ore.
Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford
Storrs Korean UCC, Storrs
New Hope UCC, Deland
Shalom Center Ministry UCC, Jacksonville
UCC at the Villages, The Villages
Hope Unites UCC, Winter Park
Riverside UCC, Jacksonville
Hilo Marshallese Ministry UCC, Pahoa
UCC Maui Pohnpei, Kahului
Kona Kosraean Ministry UCC, Kailua-Kona
Kona Marshallese Ministry UCC, Kailua-Kona
Maui Samoan Congregational UCC, Kahului
Siasi Uesiliana Tuautaine O Kihei UCC, Wailuku
Harvard Family of Faith UCC, Oak Park
Evangélica y Reformada, Chicago
Open Prairie UCC, Princeton
Resurrection Fellowship UCC, Chicago
Pillar of Love, Summit
Tamil UCC, Westchester
Trinity UCC, Gary
Samoan Congregation UCC, Lawton, Okla.
Congregational Church, Whitneyville
Church of Universal Fellowship, Orono
The Open House UCC, Portland
Hispanic Community UCC, Lowell
Hope UCC, Jamaica Plain
The Potter's House UCC, Traverse City
United Family Fellowship UCC, Joplin, Mo.
Maranatha Indonesian Fellowship UCC, Madbury, N.H.
CSI Jubilee Memorial UCC, Glen Oaks
First Congr. UCC of Coventryville, Bainbridge
Nu-Vizion UCC, Toledo
Journey UCC, Lebanon
Bethany UCC, Seattle, Wash.
Eagle Wings Community, Juneau, Alaska
Cong. Christian Ch. of American Samoa #1, Seattle, Wash.
Congr. Christian Ch. of American Samoa #2, Seattle, Wash.
Congr. Christian Ch. of American Samoa #3, Anchorage, Alaska
Congr. Christian Ch. of American Samoa #4, Anchorage, Alaska
New Heart Metropolitan Community, Federal Way, Wash.
Iglesia Nueva Esperanza UCC, Harrisburg
St. Macrina UCC, Lebanon
First UCC, Bethlehem
Healing Stream, Philadelphia
Grace Worship Center, Philadelphia
Living Water, North Wales
Immanuel CSI, Philadelphia
Peaceful Community Baptist, Philadelphia
True Vine Temple of Deliverance Ministries, Folcroft
Christian Love Worship Center, Philadelphia
Playa Salinas IEUPR, Salinas
El Maní IEUPR, Mayagüez
Los Indios IEUPR, Guayanilla
Comunidad Cristiana IEUPR, Juana Díaz
Paso Seco IEUPR, Santa Isabel
Samoan UCC, Aurora, Colo.
Cathedral of Hope, Dallas
St. Thomas CSI UCC, Houston
New Joy Community Church, Sioux Falls
Spirit of Peace UCC, Sioux Falls
Metropolitan Community Church, Columbia, S.C.
United Church of Cookeville, Tenn.
Sankofa UCC, Atlanta
Holy Trinity, Nashville
Salim UCC, Roswell, Ga.
High Country UCC, Boone, N.C.
New Revelation UCC, Burlington, N.C.
Praise Him Fellowship UCC, Raleigh, N.C.
Faith Christian Fellowship UCC, Newport News, Va.
Great Awakening UCC, Virginia Beach, Va.
North Raleigh UCC, Raleigh, N.C.
Greater New Life Fellowship UCC, Raleigh, N.C.
Multicultural Multiracial New Church Project, Burlington, N.C.
Hispanic New Church Project UCC, Burlington, N.C.
Iglesia Sin Fronteras UCC, El Paso, Texas
Marshallese Ministry UCC, Tucson, Ariz.
Yuma UCC, Yuma, Ariz.
East Bethel Community UCC, Bethel