In this volume, Dr. Zikmund continues the untold stories in the formation of the United Church of Christ. Volume 1 focused on those ethnic groups or ecclesiastical movements often overlooked by UCC historical orthodoxy. This second book of essays does two things: it provides additional information about groups not covered in the original collection, and it explores the sources of some principles and practices important to United Church of Christ identity.
This book invites readers to enhance their knowledge of history as an important source of spiritual strength for these times. It also examines more deeply what it means for the United Church of Christ to celebrate its "unity in diversity." It explores such areas as Lutheran and Reformed Cooperation; German Evangelical Protestants; Origins of the Christian Denomination in New England; Evangelical Pietism and Biblical Criticism; Women's Mission Structures and the American Board; Religious Journalism; Philip William Otterbein and the United Brethren; From German Reformed Roots to the Churches of God; The Congregational Training School for Women; and Chinese Congregationalism.
Contributors include: J. Martin Bailey, Dorothy C. Bass, Curtis Beach, Thomas E. Dipko, Matthew Fong, J. Harvey Gossard, Rose Lee, Elizabeth C. Nordbeck, Horace S. Sills, Priscilla Stuckey-Kauffman, Dorothy Wong, Barbara Brown Zikmund, and Lowell H. Zuck.
How can you use "Hidden Histories" in your congregation? We think you'll find it useful for book clubs, adult study groups and new-member classes. We encourage you to use your church's newsletter to let folks know that this important series on the rich ethnic and theological history of the United Church of Christ is now online.
Our thanks to Barbara Brown Zikmund, retired historian of the United Church of Christ, and former president of Hartford Seminary, who (in the 1980's) edited these two books on Hidden Histories in the UCC; and to Virginia H. Child, who scanned and proofread these texts. Thanks also to United Church Press for permission to reproduce these two volumes on the web. You can buy print versions of Hidden Histories volume I and volume II from United Church Press along with other books on UCC history and identity.
Introduction: Unity and Diversity | pdf
The Union Church: A Case of Lutheran and Reformed Cooperation | pdf
The German Evangelical Protestants | pdf
Origins of the Christian Denomination in New England | pdf
Evangelical Pietism and Biblical Criticism: The Story of Karl Emil Otto | pdf
Women's Mission Structures and the American Board | pdf
Religious Journalism: A Legacy from the Christian Church | pdf
Philip William Otterbein and the United Brethren | pdf
John Winebrenner: From German Reformed Roots to the Churches of God | pdf
The Congregational Training School for Women | pdf
Chinese Congregationalism | pdf
Hidden Histories in the United Church of Christ - Volume I
The UCC History and Polity Teachers Network, who collaborate in person and online to share materials and pedagogy, provide an "Essential Elements" guideline for UCC polity courses. The materials on this webpage are organized around that description. This page is intended to serve as a library for polity teachers and others, providing easy access to materials that are often difficult to find. Additionally, a wide array of United Church of Christ documents are archived online.
Suggestions for new materials to expand the list of resources can be sent to Barbara Brown Zikmund (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please review copyright permissions for all resources, including those provided here, before reproducing them as handouts. Certain resources have been removed from the list below due to copyright restrictions, although the titles are still included on the list and are recommended for purchase.
Resources below marked "Living Theological Heritage" are drawn from the seven volumes of The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ; click here for a Table of Contents of all seven volumes. The full 7-volume set is available in searchable PDF of a thumb drive from UCC Resources.
Regional offerings of UCC History and Polity Courses are curated online by the UCC Polity Teachers Network in conjunction with MESA.
- Origins, development, significant documents, major events, important persons in the four primary constituent traditions (Congregational, Christian, Evangelical, Reformed)
- Selected other traditions and/or groups within the United Church of Christ (especially, but not necessarily limited to, African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander/Asian American, Hispanic)
- Founding of the United Church of Christ
- Developments in the United Church of Christ from 1957 to the present
- Theological documents and texts (e.g. Statement of Faith, Basis of Union, Prism articles, various working papers of the national setting, ecumenical documents, pronouncements of General Synod, etc.
- Worship (including Book of Worship, New Century and other hymnals)
- Ecclesiology (the nature of the church)
- Creeds and confessions ("testimonies, not tests" of what is commonly held among us)
- Constituent parts of the United Church of Christ—i.e., local church, conferences and associations, national setting, General Synod (Constitution and Bylaws)
- Past and present structure of the United Church of Christ ("covenantal polity")
- Patterns of accountability and autonomy in the various settings of the church
Ministry (Manual on Ministry)
- Forms of ministry—licensed, commissioned, ordained; ministerial partners; emerging patterns for authorized ministry; ministry of all the baptized
- Structures and patterns of accountability – i.e. standing and oversight
- Ministerial ethics (Ministers' Codes in MOM; other ethics documents)
- Understandings of ministry in the UCC: "embodiment" and "empowerment" models
- Diversity: commitment to be a multi-racial, multi-cultural church
- Justice and witness concerns
- Ecumenical commitments and partnerships (esp. partnership with Christian Church/Disciples of Christ)
• The Shaping of the United Church of Christ by Louis H. Gunnemann, including Chapter 6 "From Movement to Denomination: The Congregational Christian Story" and Chapter 7 "From the Continent of Europe: The Evangelical and Reformed Story."
• American Originals: Homemade Varieties of Christianity by Paul K. Conkin, especially chapter 1 on Christians and Disciples
Origins of the UCC
A chart showing the origins of the UCC in Christian history.
Short Course in the History of the United Church of Christ
A short course in the history of the UCC tells our story beginning with our origins in the small community of those who followed Jesus 20 centuries ago and continuing to the present.
Chart from Balaam's Unofficial Handbook
A one-page chart showing the various Protestant groups that are part of the history of the UCC.
A History of the Christian Denomination (Morrill)
The classic history of the Christian denomination published in 1912.
History of the Reformed Church in Pennsylvania (Dobbs)
An early 20th century history of the German Reformed Church in Pennsylvania, 1902.
Key Dates in UCC History
An attempt to put key dates from United Church of Christ history on one page (bbz)
Chronology of Union Steps leading to the UCC
A chronology of the various steps leading to the formation of the United Church of Christ in 1957 (Gunnemann)
Message to the Churches from the Uniting Synod
In 1957 as the Uniting General Synod came to an end in Cleveland, the Synod passed a message to the churches. (Living Theological Heritage)
United Church of Christ Firsts
This list of UCC firsts is part of the "God is Still Speaking" identity initiative.
Women in the UCC
A 2007 pamphlet entitled "Celebrating the Memories: Selected Stories about UCC Women 1957-2007"
Hidden Histories in the United Church of Christ: Volume I
Chapters telling the stories of people and movements often ignored in traditional UCC history: American Indians, Afro-Christians, Old School or Ursinus School Reformed history, Armenian Congregationalists, German Congregationalists, Blacks and the American Missionary Association, Deaconess Sisters in the German Evangelical tradition, Schwenkfelders, Hungarians, Women’s Mission Boards and Organizations, and Japanese American Congregationalists.
Hidden Histories of the United Church of Christ: Volume II
Chapters telling the stories of people and movements often ignored in traditional UCC history: Union Churches (Lutheran-Reformed), German Evangelical Protestants, Christians in New England, Biblical Criticism and the Evangelical Synod, Women’s Mission Structures, Religious Journalism and the Christians, Otterbein and the United Brethren, Winebrenner and the Churches of God, the Congregational Training School for Women, and Chinese Congregationalists.
•The Shaping of the United Church of Christ by Louis H. Gunnemann.
•The Stone-Campbell Movement by M. W. Casey and D. A. Foster, especially the essay by Nathan Hatch on the Christian movement.
•Who Do You Say I Am? edited by Scott R. Paeth, especially the essay by Gabriel Fackre entitled "Jesus Christ in the Texts of the United Church of Christ."
Written in 1583, this moderate catechism is at the center of German Reformed theology. Instead of celebrating the otherness of God, it reassures Christians that God is their only comfort in life and in death.
Good and Harbaugh on the Heidelberg Catechism
An 1849 interpretation of the Heidelberg Catechism by Jeremiah Good and Henry Harbaugh. (Living Theological Heritage)
Schaff Principle of Protestantism
A theological analysis of Protestantism written in 1846 by Philip Schaff, a leader in the Mercersburg Movement within the German Reformed Church.
The 1648 statement expressing Congregational understandings of the church as local gatherings of “visible saints”
The Cambridge Platform and the Future of the Church
Theological reflections shared at the Cambridge Platform 350th Anniversary Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Burial Hill Declaration
In 1865, as Congregationalists began to develop a national identity and national structures, the first General Council of Congregational Churches approved this declaration as a description of Congregationalism.
Kansas City Statement of Faith
Adopted in 1913, this statement summarized the beliefs and polity of Congregationalism at the beginning of the 20th century.
Principles of the Christian Church
In late 18th and early 19th century America, a popular "Christian movement" – inspired by new political independence – declared religious independence. Traditional denominations and doctrines were unnecessary; the movement asserted that Christians needed to agree on a handful of basic "principles."
Centennial of Religious Journalism 1908
A collection of materials from Christian publications to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Herald of Gospel Liberty
In 1848 an interconfessional group of German pastors in Misssouri, who had founded the Kirchenverein des Westens (Church Society of the West) in 1840, formulated a “confessional paragraph” that summarized their beliefs about scripture and doctrine. (Living Theological Heritage)
UCC Statement of Faith
The three versions of the UCC Statement of Faith (1959, 1977, 1981) presented side-by-side, enabling comparisons.
Preamble to the Constitution of the UCC
The Constitution of the UCC was presented to the General Synod of the UCC in 1959 and approved at a special "adjourned session" of that Synod in 1960. The Preamble, especially the second paragraph, is an important expression of UCC faith and practices. (Living Theological Heritage)
Steckel on the Preamble to the UCC Constitution
From the 2007 UCC@50 [italicized title] anniversary booklet, a brief reflection on the theological meaning of the Preamble to the UCC Constitution.
What We Believe
Twelve statements summarizing current theological principles held by most United Church of Christ members.
Introduction to the UCC Book of Worship
This 1986 introduction to the UCC Book of Worship puts worship in historic context and explains many of the common worship practices among Christians.
12 Principles informing the UCC Book of Worship (Dipko)
In the preparation of the UCC Book of Worship (1986) the working group and the designated writer, Thomas Dipko, were guided by these 12 principles.
Gunnemann on Baptism
A 1985 article by Louis Gunnemann entitled "Baptism: Sacrament of Christian Vocation" that was published in the Wisconsin Conference journal On the Way.
Gunnemann on Eucharist
A 1985 article entitled "Eucharist: Sacrament of Discipleship" that published in the Wisconsin Conference journal On the Way.
Crabtree on Inclusive Language
An excerpt from a 1985 presentation by Davida Crabtree entitled "Rock, Water and Word." (Living Theological Heritage)
Ringe on Feminist Theology [underlined text links to http://www.ucc.org/education/polity/pdf-folder/ringe-feminist-theology.pdf]
A 1990 essay by Sharon Ringe, outlining the major concerns of feminist theology. (Living Theological Heritage)
Jackson on Indian Perspective
An article by Norman Jackson entitled "An Indian Perspective on the United Church of Christ" published in New Conversations. (Living Theological Heritage)
Essex on Black Theology
Excerpts from "The Unfinished Agenda: One Continual Cry," a reflection on Black theology by Barbara J. Essex. (Living Theological Heritage)
Hirano on Asian American Theology
Excerpts from a Prism article on Asian American perspectives on UCC theology, by David Hirano. (Living Theological Heritage)
Armijo on Immigrant Theology
Excerpts of an essay by Enrique Armijo about the ways in which immigration calls for a new kind of theology. (Living Theological Heritage)
Toward the 21st Century
A 1993 statement setting forth four ways in which the UCC wished to describe itself: a Church attentive to the Word, a Church inclusive of all people, a Church responsive to God’s call, and a Church supportive of one another.
Theological Worlds in the UCC
An article by Lee Barrett published in Prism (2008) exploring four different theological perspectives that are alive and well in the UCC. Permission is granted to UCC congregations, associations, conferences, covenanted ministries, and seminaries to photocopy single articles provided no more than 50 copies are made and the material is distributed free of charge. All others must have written permission to make photocopies. Photocopies must include this statement: "Reprinted from Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ" and list volume, number, and date of the issue.
Fisler Hoffman on Covenant
A small book by Jane Fisler Hoffman entitled Covenant: A Study for the United Church of Christ (2008), made available by permission of the author.
Russell on Covenant Theology
Rollin O. Russell’s paper on "Covenant Theology, Covenantal Church Life," made available by permission of the author.
•The Shaping of the United Church of Christ by Louis H. Gunnemann.
•Patterns of Polity by Edward L. Long.
•The Evolution of UCC Style by Randi Walker.
Statement on Pronouncements
In 1959 the General Synod debated how actions of the Synod should be understood. This Statement (reaffirmed in 1969) states that actions of one part of the UCC are morally binding even when they are not legally binding. (Living Theological Heritage)
Spike on Two Anxieties
An excerpt from a 1963 article by Robert Spike describing the concerns of local churches weighing their decision to join the United Church of Christ. (Living Theological Heritage)
Toward an Understanding of Local Autonomy
A 1969 statement explaining the patterns of freedom and accountability in the concept of local autonomy.
Delegate Responsibilities at Wider Church Meetings
A page from the 1965 records of First Congregational UCC, Washington, DC, stressing the fact that delegates are not instructed when they go to wider church meetings; for this reason there cannot be any “proxy” voters.
Brueggemann on "Face to Faceness"
A paragraph from a 1977 presentation Walter Brueggemann made at the 100th anniversary of the German Evangelical Synod in North America. It highlights the personal engagement that nurtured Evangelical polity.
Synopsis of General Synod Actions 1957-1999
An outline of major actions taken by each General Synod from 1957 to 1999. See also the free online archive of UCC historical materials for General Synod minutes, amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, and more.
A 1991 paper on UCC ecclesiology, prepared as background for restructuring the national setting of the UCC leading to the new 2000 Constitution and Bylaws. (Living Theological Heritage)
UCC Constitution and Bylaws
The UCC Constitution and Bylaws underwent major revisions in 2000; other amendments related to ministry were voted in 2005 and 2009.
Schmeichen on the UCC Constitution
A 2000 Prism article by Peter Schmeichen entitled "The New Constitution: Achievement and Promise." Permission is granted to UCC congregations, associations, conferences, covenanted ministries, and seminaries to photocopy single articles provided no more than 50 copies are made and the material is distributed free of charge. All others must have written permission to make photocopies. Photocopies must include this statement: “Reprinted from Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ” and list volume, number, and date of the issue.
Hulteen on Covenantal Relationships
A 1997 excerpt from an essay entitled "United Church of Christ Covenantal Polity" by William A. Hulteen. (Living Theological Heritage)
Autonomy in a Covenantal Polity
Don Freeman writes about "Autonomy in a Covenantal Polity."
Definition of Covenant
A one-page explanation produced by the Northern California-Nevada Conference of the UCC to explain the meaning of a covenant and a contract.
A 2004 report of the Restructure Evaluation Oversight Committee to the Executive Council.
National Ministries of the United Church of Christ
A chart based on the 2000 UCC Constitution showing the way the national setting of the UCC is organized.
Articles on Conferences
Two 1994 articles published in Prism exploring the place of Conferences in United Church of Christ polity. Permission is granted to UCC congregations, associations, conferences, covenanted ministries, and seminaries to photocopy single articles provided no more than 50 copies are made and the material is distributed free of charge. All others must have written permission to make photocopies. Photocopies must include this statement: “Reprinted from Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ” and list volume, number, and date of the issue.
Manual on the Church
A 2005 manual exploring understandings of church based on the concept of "covenant."
Covenant of the CCM
From the Council of Conference Ministers, the covenant developed by and among Conference Ministers in support of their individual judicatory ministries and of the wider church.
General Synod Minutes
Minutes of General Synod since 1999, in PDF format. See also the free online archive of UCC historical materials.
The Church of Jesus Christ
An excerpt from a 2007 Prism article entitled "Maturing in Christ: A Theological Perspective for Conference Ministry" by John W. Lynes; it briefly defines the UCC using key quotations from the Constitution and Bylaws. Permission is granted to UCC congregations, associations, conferences, covenanted ministries, and seminaries to photocopy single articles provided no more than 50 copies are made and the material is distributed free of charge. All others must have written permission to make photocopies. Photocopies must include this statement: "Reprinted from Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ" and list volume, number, and date of the issue.
•Theology and Identity edited by D. L. Johnson and C. Hambrick-Stowe, especially chapter 8 by Barbara Brown Zikmund entitled "Empowerment and Embodiment: Understandings of Ministry in the United Church of Christ."
•Book of Worship – United Church of Christ (1986), especially the Service for the Ordination to Ministry and the Service for the Installation of a Pastor.
Historical and Theological Perspectives (MOM 1977)
An essay from the 1977 Manual on Ministry exploring historical and theological perspectives on ministry in the UCC.
Ordained Minister's Code
A two-page statement from the Manual on Ministry to guide clergy in professional responsibilities.
Charge to a Church
In many Ordination and Installation services there is opportunity for someone to challenge the congregation as it enters into covenant with a new pastor. (Living Theological Heritage)
Manual on Ministry
The Manual on Ministry is divided into ten sections moving from an overview of the covenantal relationships and underlying assumptions about authorized ministry through preparation and oversight.
Brief information sheets on useful topics like "theology," "pastor," "ordination," "ministry," "covenant," etc.
Steckel on Authorizing Ministry
A 1999 lecture given by Clyde Steckel on how the United Church of Christ has changed (and is continuing to change) the ways it authorizes ministry.
UCC Search and Call (The Ministerial Profile)
This link explains how persons seeking a call to authorized ministry in the UCC, and how congregations seeking pastoral leadership, find each other through the UCC “search and call” process.
UCC Ministry Opportunities
This website (updated live) lists ministry opportunities in the United Church of Christ for clergy and laypersons, including short-term and volunteer positions as well as settled positions.
The Time Is Now: A Guide to Developing Abuse Prevention Policies
Awareness of abuse and safety concerns has led the UCC to develop guidelines for local congregations to set safe church policies.
A Ministry Issues Pronouncement was passed by General Synod in 2005, with constitutional amendments passed by General Synod in 2009 to implement the Pronouncement. Resources related to the Ministry Issues Pronouncement include materials for Committees on Ministry in "Draft 3.1" and reflection on the covenants of authorized ministry in the "Background Document."
New on Ministry Issues
A 2008 Prism article by Jonathan New entitled "Balancing Piety and Intellect," reflecting on the impact of constitutional changes related to authorized ministry in the UCC. Permission is granted to UCC congregations, associations, conferences, covenanted ministries, and seminaries to photocopy single articles provided no more than 50 copies are made and the material is distributed free of charge. All others must have written permission to make photocopies. Photocopies must include this statement: "Reprinted from Prism: A Theological Forum for the United Church of Christ" and list volume, number, and date of the issue.
Walker on Episcope
An analysis by Randi Walker of how oversight works in the UCC through Committees on Ministry, Associations and Conferences. (Living Theological Heritage)
Yordon on Ministry
Hank Yordon’s description of his own ministry embodies the way many UCC clergy see their calling. (Living Theological Heritage)
Steckel on UCC Ecclesiology at Fifty
After reviewing pre-UCC historical understandings of the church, Steckel explores three themes in UCC ecclesiology since 1957: covenantal relationships, the mission of God, and radical hospitality.
Aspiring to be a Multiracial Multicultural Church
A 1993 pronouncement of General Synod upholding the commitment of the United Church of Christ to become a multiracial multicultural church.
H. Richard Niebuhr on the Responsibility of the Church for Society
Niebuhr argues that Christians are responsible for society, condemning irresponsible religion and affirming the church as apostle, pastor and pioneer in this 1946 chapter from a book entitled The Gospel, the World and the Church.
Living Theological Heritage, Volume 7, Introductions to Parts 4 and 5
These introductions weave together documents linking UCC understandings of theology and social outreach.
Reinhold Niebuhr on Religiosity and the Christian Faith
A brief 1955 article by Reinhold Niebuhr published in Christianity and Crisis on the impact of religion in the world.
Gallagher on Controversy
A 1963 essay by Buell Gallagher on the importance of healthy controversy in the life of the church (reprinted from Social Action). (Living Theological Heritage)
Thomas on Contemporary Commitment and Catholic Substance
A 1997 statement by John Thomas explaining how UCC social justice commitments flow from universal Christian convictions.
Excerpts from the 1977 report Human Sexuality: A Preliminary Study. (Living Theological Heritage)
The Dubuque Declaration
The 1983 statement of faith created by the United Church People for Biblical Witness (UCPBW); it remains the basic theological position of the Biblical Witness Fellowship (BWF).
Just Peace Church Pronouncement
A 1985 General Synod Pronouncement spelling out the commitments of the UCC as a Just Peace Church.
Theological Foundations of a Just Peace Church
A 1986 statement affirming the United Church of Christ as a Just Peace Church. (Living Theological Heritage)
Open and Affirming Resolution
In 1985 the General Synod passed a resolution upholding the UCC as an Open and Affirming Church (ONA).
A resolution of the 2003 General Synod "Calling the United Church of Christ to be an Anti-Racist Church."
Called to Wholeness Resolution
The 2005 resolution affirming the United Church of Christ’s commitment to being a church that is accessible to all (A2A).
Marriage Equality Resolution
The 2005 Marriage Equality Resolution passed by General Synod.
Faithful and Welcoming Churches in the UCC
Faithful and Welcoming Churches (FWC) was formed as a renewal movement within the UCC and identify as evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or traditional (ECOT) churches. They reject the ONA position and reject the Marriage Equality Resolution.
Pastoral Letter on the Environment
A 2008 letter from John Thomas and the Environmental & Energy Task Force.
Pastoral Letter on Faith and Science
A 2008 letter by John Thomas and the UCC Science & Technology Network.
New York Times Ad
The UCC ad which rain in the New York Times in April 2008 in response to criticisms of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Ecumenical Stance of the UCC
A 1973 statement affirming the importance of the ecumenical vocation for the United Church of Christ.
Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry
The 1982 World Council of Churches Faith and Order document exploring differences and commonalities around baptism, eucharist and ministry among Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant Christians.
UCC Response to BEM
In 1985 the United Church of Christ prepared a formal response to Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. The response was most concerned with issues related to ministry.
Ecumenical Partnership with the Disciples
A 1989 document spelling out the meaning of ecumenical partnership with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
UCC Response to the COCU Consensus Document
In the 1960s, the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) was an effort to overcome denominational fragmentation and to find new forms of church unity. COCU produced a "consensus" document in the 1980s, to which the UCC responded in 1989. (Living Theological Heritage)
Formula of Agreement
A 1997 agreement between the United Church of Christ (UCC), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of American (ELCA), the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) about sacraments and ministry issues.
Relationship between the UCC and the Jewish Community
A 1987 General Synod resolution on UCC understandings of Judaism and the relationship of Christians and Jews.
Relationship between the UCC and the Muslim Community
A 1989 General Synod resolution on UCC understandings of the relationship between Christians and Muslims.
A Study Resource on Interreligious Relations for the UCC
A 2005 resource to help UCC people think through questions of interreligious relations.
Statement of Mission
A 1987 Statement of Mission – sometimes called the Houston Statement – developed by the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries (UCBHM) and offered to the UCC as a contemporary interpretation of mission.
"A United Church that Stands for Something"
A 2006 sermon by John Thomas highlighting his understanding of UCC identity and challenging UCC members to live up to what they say the UCC is.
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Below is a list of links to Associations within UCC conferences. Some of the links are to separate association websites, some are association web pages on conference websites, and others are simply listings of churches within that association or other association information. If you know of a better or more accurate link, or have a link that is missing, please email it to me at email@example.com.
CALIFORNIA, NEVADA NORTHERN
CALIFORNIA, NEVADA SOUTHERN
New Haven East Consociation
Non-Geographical Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches
The Conference acts as the Association in the Illinois South Conference
Evansville Tri State
The Conference acts as the Association in the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference
Rhode Island Assn. of Ministers
East Alabama - West Georgia
Eastern North Carolina
Western North Carolina
The Rev. Myron Ross, 82, the fi rst African-American ordained in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, who also served for many years in Japan, starting in 1954, as the E&R's fi rst African-American missionary, died of lung cancer on May 11 in St. George, Utah. Ross, an activist in the Civil Rights Movement entered Eden Theological Seminary as a Presbyterian, but later told an audience at the UCC-related seminary in St. Louis that he joined the Evangelical and Reformed Church (which would soon become the UCC) because he was inspired by the intellectual vigor of his seminary professors.
The Rev. Chester Terpstra, 89, former Hawaii Conference Minister from 1968 to 1978, died April 12 in Sequim, Wash., after a long illness. During his ministry, Terpstra also served several pastorates in Hawaii and was a missionary, along with his wife, Margery, in Pohnpei.
The Rev. Robert Molsberry, UCC pastor in Grinnell, Iowa, is the candidate for Ohio Conference Minister and will be considered by the Conference on July 27-28. The Rev. Sheldon Culver, Missouri/Mid-South Associate Conference Minister, is the candidate for Illinois South Minister and will be considered when the Conference meets Sept. 7-8.
Anderson, Paul N. to First Cong. UCC, East Troy, WI
Ashley, Timothy S. Spring Grove, PA to St. Paul"s UCC, Sheboygan, WI
Bracebridge, Shawn E. Clifton Park, NY to Cong. UCC, West Stockbridge, MA
Breedlove, Christopher J. San Antonio, TX to Trinity UCC, Jasper, IN
Brownell, Jennifer G. to Community UCC, Hillsdale, OR
Burd, James K. to Association Minister, Wauwatosa, WI
Clippinger, Arthur P. Massillon, OH to Trinity UCC and St. Peter"s UCC, Clinton, OH
Comeau, Megan E. Worcester, MA to Central UCC, Orange, MA
Cornell, Edward F. to Second Cong. UCC, New London, CT
Dunlap-Wolfe, Barbara J. Potosi, WI to Immanuel UCC, Woodman, WI
Favreau-Sorvillo, Jeanne M. Redlands, CA to Cong. UCC, Diamond Bar, CA
Fournier, Richard T. Northampton, MA to First. Cong. UCC, Buckland, MA
Frazier, Kenneth A. to First Cong. UCC, Waterbury, CT
Frueh, Donald G. to First Cong. UCC, Salem, OR
Gregory, Kevin P. Appleton, WI to St. John"s UCC, Manchester, MO
Harris, George M. to Second Cong. UCC, New Britain, CT
Haslanger, Phillip C. Madison, WI to Memorial UCC, Fitchburg, WI
Holman, Gail F. to Phoenix Community UCC, Kalamazoo, MI
Hudson, John F. Concord, MA to Pilgrim UCC, Sherborn, MA
Jacobsen, Steven D. to Cong. UCC, Mentone, CA
Kwon, Yul Madison, WI to UCC, Hancock, WI
LaMarche, Nichol M. to Federated, Cotuit, MA
Manz, Kevin to Plymouth, Lawrence, KS
McHugh, Nancy S. Cedar Grove, NY to UCC, Waitsfi eld, VT
Morkin, Charles W. Sturgeon Bay, WI to United, Holyoke, MA
Nelson, John A. Dover, MA to Community UCC, Niantic, CT
Nichols, J. Christopher Goshen, CT to First Cong. UCC, Madison, CT
Pastors, Jennifer to Colonial UCC, Prairie Village, KS
Patton, Alison B. Chicago, IL to First Church of Christ UCC, Simsbury, CT
Robinson, Olivia H. to Cong. UCC, Kensington, CT
Rogers-Brigham, Ann M. East Orleans, MA to Immanuel UCC, Plymouth, WI
Scott, Judith I. Kingston, RI to Evangelical UCC, Marysville, KS
Shiels, Joan M. to Hope UCC, Sturgeon Bay, WI
Stone, Kenton V. Lawrence, KS to First Cong. UCC, Topeka, KS
Szyszko, Dolores B. to Church of the Good Shepherd UCC, South Woodstock, CT
Vaccariello, Carol Medina, OH to Cong. UCC, North Canton, OH
Wagner, Johanna Easthampton, MA to Church of Christ UCC, Granby, MA
Watson, Jimmy R. Terre Haute, IN to St. Andrew UCC, Louisville, KY
Wenzel, Lorrie M. to Calvary Memorial UCC, Wauwatosa, WI
Woitasek, Walter Springfi eld, MA to Church of Christ UCC, Granby, MA
Wyatt, Andrea C. Holliston, MA to Pilgrim UCC, Lexington, MA
Yonkman, Nicole G., Kettering, OH to UCC, Fishers, IN
Yonkman, Todd G., Kettering, OH to UCC, Fishers, IN
Information on pastoral changes is provided by UCC"s parish life and leadership ministry.
Adams, Ann. B., 52, 5/3/2007
Bourne, Donald S., 94, 5/24/2007
Bowers, Daniel A., 88, 4/21/2007
Gerber, John A., 91, 4/10/2007
Gregory, Lillian S., 92, 3/28/2007
Klein, Ernest C., 82, 5/28/2007
Pirazzini, Francis X., 84, 5/6/2007
Ross, Myron W., 82, 5/11/2007
Tom, Vernon G.S., 65, 3/26/2007
Vodola, Esther, 95, 5/18/2007
Information on clergy deaths is provided by UCC"s Pension Boards
10. What if church is like spinach ...?
You know, like something that you hated as a kid but you love as an adult because you eat it in ways that suit you much better. Guess what? A lot of people are having the same sort of experience with church . . . In the UCC, things are often quite different and worth checking out.
UCC churches tend to tailor themselves to fit the people they feel called to serve in their local community. The result: A wide variety of musical traditions, expressions and values that have integrity and purpose. From conservative to liberal, we're not short on variety.
8. No apologies...
You are what you are...and so are we – we like ourselves just fine. Find a church where you will fit in, be nurtured and challenged to grow.
7. No waiting...
You don't have to join to be active in many UCC churches. If you want to get involved, many of our churches will find a place to help fulfill your need to give – whether or not you decide to join.
6. No boxes
God can blow the lid off any box, unfold it and turn it into a dance floor. We tend to be the "out of the box" people. Among our many firsts, we were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery (1700), the first to ordain an African American person (1785), the first to ordain a woman (1853), the first in foreign missions (1810), and the first to ordain openly gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons (1972). We value education for all people. We founded Harvard and Yale, as well as many historically black colleges, six of which remain affiliated with the UCC to this day.
5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All
When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back – no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that baptism places each of us into the "body of Christ" and lasts forever. Some are baptized as infants, others as adults. Some are sprinkled. Others are immersed. Some reclaim their baptism from a previous church life. For each of us, however, baptism is big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone – old, young, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "you're a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."
4. Good News People
We believe that No. 5 is good news!
3. "Party" Church
God is having a party and we are all invited. At God's party our spiritual hungering is fed and our thirsting is satisfied. At God's party we get strength, stamina and community support that helps us through the tough times that come to everyone. Feeding our spiritual hunger helps reduce those, "I can't believe I'm so stupid" moments – but we'll never eliminate them all. That's why we need friends and companions and not judges (no offense to judges) for the journey.
2. Spiritual Guidance...
It's not about commandments. It's about relationships – even with God. The most important relationship is our relationship with God. Second most important is our relationships with the rest of the human family. In balance, these relationships produce justice amid injustice, kindness in the face of meanness, and the humility of self acceptance that comes as we sense the presence of a God who knows our inmost thoughts and loves us uncontrollably – just as we are. Spiritual journeys can be like the exercise equipment we buy and leave under the bed. Without coaches and workout partners, most of us don't stick with it. We're the "Journeys Wanted" people . . . bring yours.
1. We're waiting for you.
Statement of Faith
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father, and to his deeds we testify:
He calls the worlds into being, creates man in his own image and sets before him the ways of life and death.
He seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
He judges men and nations by his righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,he has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to himself.
He bestows upon us his Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
He calls us into his church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be his servants in the service of men, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
He promises to all who trust him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, his presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in his kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto him.
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:
God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.
God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.
God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table,to join him in his passion and victory.
God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace,the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
Creemos en Dios, el Espíritu Eterno, Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo y nuestro Creador; y de sus obras testificamos:
Dios llama los mundos para que existan, creó al ser humano a su imagen y semejanza, y puso ante la humanidad los caminos de la vida y la muerte.
Busca en su santo amor salvar a todas las personas de su desorientación y pecado.
Dios juzga al ser humano y a las naciones por medio de su justa voluntad declarada a través de los profetas y los apóstoles.
En Jesucristo, el hombre de Nazaret, nuestro Señor crucificado y resucitado, Dios ha venido y ha compartido nuestra suerte, venció el pecado y la muerte y reconcilió al mundo para sí mismo.
Dios nos concedió el Espíritu Santo, que crea y renueva la iglesia de Jesucristo y une en un pacto de fidelidad a personas de todas las edades, idiomas y razas.
Dios nos llama como iglesia para que aceptemos el costo y la alegría del discipulado, para que seamos sus servidores al servicio del ser humano, para proclamar el evangelio a todo el mundo y resistir los poderes del maligno, para compartir el bautismo de Cristo, comer en su mesa, y unirnos a Jesús en su pasión y victoria.
Dios promete a toda persona que confía en Jesús el perdón de los pecados y la plenitud de su gracia, valor en la lucha por la justicia y la paz, su presencia en las tristezas y en las alegrías, y vida eterna en su reino que no tiene fin.
Bendición y honor, gloria y poder sean dados a Dios.
About this testimony
The original (traditional) version of the UCC Statement of Faith was adopted in 1959 by General Synod and is widely regarded as one of the most significant Christian faith testimonies of the 20th century. The Statement of Faith in the Form of a Doxology was authorized by Executive Council in 1981. For these and other affirmations of the Christian faith, see the Book of Worship of United Church of Christ and The New Century Hymnal. Both resources are available from United Church Resources at 800-325-7061, or can be ordered from The Pilgrim Press at www.ThePilgrimPress.com
What We Believe
We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized – and we promise that we won't take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ's table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. "That they may all be one." (John 17:21) "In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity," These UCC mottos survive because they touch core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, love and unity in the midst of our diversity are our greatest assets.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'
We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church. As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted.
We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear ... for after all, God is still speaking, ...
The United Church of Christ Archives announces the 50th Anniversary Oral History Project. This exciting project will capture the experiences of those who participated and witnessed the events surrounding the formation of the United Church of Christ, from 1946-1961.
The UCC Archives has contracted Mr. Oloye Adeyemon to manage the first phase of the project. Mr. Adeyemon brings to the project his many years of expertise in oral history. Mr. Adeyemon has served as an independent contractor with the Federal Government; has founded and directed the Legacy Program at the University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College; directed the 50th Anniversary “Brown v. Board” Oral History Project for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program; and has conducted oral history training sessions across the country, including a three-day seminar at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
The first phase of the 50th Anniversary Oral History Project includes the identification of participants and witnesses of the events during the time of the formation of the United Church of Christ from 1946-1961. Background interviews of all those identified will be conducted. Due to the limited funding, staffing, and time-frame, we can only conduct between 20-30 oral history interviews during this phase. It is a difficult decision to make. The interviews will be transcribed to provide greater access to the valuable history and insights gathered.
We hope to conduct the rest of the interviews in future phases, but that is entirely dependent upon funding.
The project is funded in part by a grant from The Louisville Institute and a donation from Mr. Oloye Adeyemon.
Created to live with God; created to Be In Community With One Another
I'm often asked, "Why does everything boil down to race?" It seems that the issue of racism is one which intersects all aspects of our being. Issues of privilege and advantage, inclusion and exclusion impact our relationships with each other and to the goods, services and opportunities of society. Our present racial/ethnic group relationships are informed by our histories and shaped by the realities of living in a racialized society. As people of faith, we are called to recognize racism?s impact on our relationships with each other and with God. The resource entitled, Transformative Justice: Being Church and Overcoming Racism, acknowledges racism as a sin and states the following:
Churches have declared that racism is a sin
Racism is a sin because it:
* denies the very source of humanity ? the image of God in humankind;
* destroys God?s likeness in every person and thus repudiates creation and its goodness;
* assumes that human beings are not equal before God and are not part of God?s family;
* is contrary to biblical teaching;
* denies basic justice and human dignity;
* is a blatant denial of the Christian faith;
* is incompatible with the Gospel;
* is a flagrant violation of human rights;
* separates us from God and from other human beings;
* makes us blind to the reality of people?s suffering and
* perpetuates racist attitudes, practices and institutional racism.
We have confessed that racism is a sin, not only as individual Christians, but also as churches. To affirm that racism is a sin has a radical implication for the churches: the radical commitment to overcome it.
—Transformative Justice: Being Church and Overcoming Racism, Resource Guide, World Council of Churches 2004
This is our prayer Dear God, Creator of the universe and all that inhabit it, we come as your Church, and as individuals, in humble submission to Your Word and Your Way. God, you who are Alpha and Omega, The Almighty Judge and The Forgiver of All Sins, we come with bowed heads and contrite hearts on behalf of generations past, present and those yet unborn. We now ask that you forgive us and create in us a new spirit. Bind our hearts and send forth the healing power that You and You alone can give to us and this sin sick world. Bring us into reconciliation with one another and restore us to thy path. Amen.
Adaptation of Alter Prayer, Acknowledging The Breach, from Reparations: A Process for Repairing The Breach: A Study and Discussion Guide for Local Congregations, Associations and Conferences of the United Church of Christ.
This is our covenant
O God, as people of faith, we covenant with you, with one another and our churches to:
* become better informed about people of other races and cultures, that we may overcome the fears and misconceptions that exist;
* consider how issues of racial prejudice and privilege affect each person with whom we come in contact;
* discover and acknowledge practices and structures that are racist in our churches and communities;
* work to erase the sins of racism and injustice where they exist in our churches and communities and
* prayerfully heed Your call to embrace people of all colors, faiths, economic and social backgrounds as our brothers and sisters.
—Submitted by Dismantling Racism Task Force, St. Louis Association, Missouri Mid-South Conference, United Church of Christ