Church Planting 1.0
Church Planting 1.0, a five-week online learning opportunity, will provide a comprehensive overview in progressive church planting for people exploring starting a new church. This course will cover:
• Week One: Shaping Vision and Mission
• Week Two: Church Planting: The Basic Process
• Week Three: Fundraising and Stewardship
• Week Four: Networking in the 21st Century
• Week Five: Writing a Ministry Plan
The course begins on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 7 p.m. EASTERN time with a one-time, all-class conference call. After this, the course is "a-synchronous," meaning each week's work is completed according to the participant's individual schedule. There is no specific time each week when the class is held. Written lectures, PowerPoint presentations and videos all are accessed online any time during the week. Additional books and resources also will be assigned. Each week, forums will be offered for students to interact with each other and the instructor about issues related to that week's material. Finally, weekly reflection papers submitted to the instructor will demonstrate the student's understanding of the material. Presenting the material in an online course is the cutting edge of technology and learning.
At the conclusion of this course, you will receive a certificate of completion. CE credit is also available through our partnership with the Pacific School of Religion.
This course includes a 100 page e-Book on the basics of progressive church planting!
For more information or to register click here.
Church Planting 2.0
Church Planting 2.0, a five-week online learning opportunity. Created by a team of church planting practitioners, Church Planting 2.0 is focused on the post-launch experience of starting a church. Church Planting 1.0 is a prerequisite.
This course will cover:
• Week One: Ready, Fire, Aim - What to do when the plan doesn't work.
• Week Two: Leadership and Conflict - Leading through change
• Week Three: Practical Planting - Finding meeting space, setting up a database and creating a marketing strategy
• Week Four: Financial Sustainability - Building longer term financial support
• Week Five: Worship and Preaching - Preaching to Post-Moderns
The course begins on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 7 p.m. EASTERN time with a one-time, all-class conference call. And like our Church Planting 1.0 this course course is "a-synchronous," meaning each week's work is completed according to the participant's individual schedule. At the conclusion of this course, you will receive a certificate of completion. CE credit is also available through our partnership with the Pacific School of Religion.
For more information or to register click here.
New and Renewing Church Funding
Please go to our website: www.ucc.org/grow-your-church
New Church Grant Benefit Support Program
Vital Tools That You Can Use Right Now
11 Facts about Congregational Vitality in UCC Congregations from the Faith Communities Today Study
United Church of Christ: Faith Practices will provide resources for worship, learning, and serving, on 24 different parctices of our faith. The first four practices are ready now.
Stewardship and Church Finances resources to ignite the generosity of your congregation! Also find information about financial wellness and Our Church's Wider Mission.
Youth and Young Adult Resources for leaders, check out these hot new suggestions.
Women in Mission: Our Common Lot sharing the incredible strengths and resources found in United Church of Christ women so that we may better be about carrying out God's ministry and mission in the world. It's in our DNA!
Global Ministries encourages you to become a Global Mission Church and propel your congregation into new activities or affirm the numerous projects already in place. Whether your next step is to pray regularly for a missionary, study globalization or plan a People-to-People group mission trip, we encourage you to make the decision to put a foot forward and take a step into world mission.
Justice and Witness Ministries Justice LED is a training which will provide assistance to local churches and UCC members who seek to participate in ongoing ways to move our world towards this vision.
Resources for Vital Worship
The New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches grant program of the United Church of Christ seeks to enact the Vision, Mission, and Purpose by investing in programs and ministries which live into the ethos of the United Church of Christ’s becoming. Ministries that are meant to be sustaining, as well as ministries that are meant to be impactful for a particular time and place, are encouraged to apply. Grants are awarded based on how applicants seek to embody in their ministries the values lifted up at the beginning of this document, as well as the impact from those values within the local community.
New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches 2017 Grant Report: "Innovation and Inspiration: What’s New in the UCC?!"
Apply for a Grant
“Apply now for a New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches Grant”
May 2018 – September 1, 2018
In March of 2017, leaders from across the life of the denomination gathered to redefine the grant program and set intention and vision on the funding and the churches that the UCC will be supporting.
After much deliberation on the metrics of new churches, the team affirmed that we will invest in the values which lead communities into action, and for the greater impact of the ministries. Our funded new and renewing churches will be led by the following five values:
Love: Right relationships define love. Love is a communal experience enacting love of neighbor, self, and God. Love has a narratable timeline; something happening drawing one out of oneself, and extending self. The community speaks love through a narration of their story including presence to both joy and pain in the midst of loving.
Spirituality/Faith: Communities which are connected to something bigger than themselves, and the great cloud of witnesses (past, present, and future), while adding to the Christian story.
Community: Gathering body of individuals that speaks to live out the teachings of Jesus Christ. Community means interdependence, connection, honoring of difference, with the equal distribution and sharing of power and resources for all.
Justice: Justice speaks truth to power. Justice is what love looks like in public, and through the eyes of God. Justice creates opportunities for wholeness and health in individuals and communities. Justice is connected to the community surrounding in the building of coalitions and partnerships. Justice is intersectional; so the faith community is also facing outward. Justice ensures the voice of the voiceless and serves the underserved, inviting the tradition and wisdom of voices historically excluded and/or undervalued. Justice repairs the breaches, and restores right relationships. Justice is the equitable allocation of resources for God’s beloved children.
Creativity: The ministry takes a bold and innovative approach, and/or applies the old model in a new way to address a particular need within the community. Requirements
This grant is available to faith communities affiliated with the United Church of Christ. If the applicant is not a Member in Discernment or UCC minister in good standing, a UCC accountability structure must be described and agreed upon through the local conference or committee on ministry.
The first thing applicants should do is determine who will serve as a reference for this application. References MUST be in before you can "submit" the application.
Decide, and reach out to EITHER a conference minister or associate conference minister, OR, all of the below
- a local pastor of a congregation where membership and accountability is held
- a leader of a community partner organization
- an outside source of communal support (e.g. a coach, mentor, spiritual director, et cetera.)
We hold intention that at least 50% of our funding will go towards faith communities who are historically marginalized: specifically, communities of color, or faith communities led by people of color.
There are two types of grants: grants that can be matched, or non-matching grants.
Within matching grants for NEW communities, any income can be matched, including tithed income.
For RENEWING churches, it must be outside fundraising, NOT including "normal" church income, such as tithed income. For all churches, matching grant funds must be properly documented, such as would hold up to an IRS audit.
- Grants which are NOT matched: $20,000 over 4 quarters, for the period of one year.
- Matching grants, up to $40,000. $10k first, then $30k matched to follow, over 6 quarters (1.5 years.)
Each community and/or applicant is eligible for up to $100,000 grand lifetime, from this program.
Grants are awarded based on how applicants seek to embody in their ministries the values lifted up at the beginning of this document, as well as the impact from those values within the local community.
Ministries that are meant to be sustaining, as well as ministries that are meant to be impactful for a particular time and place, are encouraged to apply.
"We were fortunate to get some truly invested facilitators and we were all very impressed with the training weekend. The trainers were great, the pace was lively, the material dealt with real issues, and the process was well thought out. The added incentive was the promise of an assessment of our church done by outsiders,"
- Rev. Ruby Easton, West Parish UCC in Andover MA.
Watch a New Beginnings Assessment video testimony!
"New Beginnings provides an excellent combination of outside assessment and internal discernment. The assessment and training provoke deep and imaginative conversation that empowers a congregation to own the future God has in store for them."
- Rev. Wendy Vander Hart, Associate Conference Minister, Massachusetts Conference, UCC
"What is God calling your congregation to do and be in this time and this place?"
If your congregation can answer "yes" to three or more of the following, it may be time for a New Beginning:
• Less than 70 in worship, or more than 70 in worship but significant decline for a decade
• Wrestling with future vision for the church
• Significant building issues
• Aging membership
• Changing neighborhood
• Trouble paying bills and/or paying off a loan
• Currently in interim time of transition
With New Beginnings, your congregation will:
• Receive a comprehensive report of strengths and challenges, as well as a realistic picture of possible future directions.
• Be trained in a discernment process to follow God's lead in choosing a new direction.
• Discover available ministry opportunities in the community.
• Learn how to discuss and implement change in a healthy, open manner.
• Leaders receive additional training on leading through change.
• Set a course for future strategic and visionary ministry planning.
Download the full brochure.
New Beginnings Info Sheet.
New Beginnings Resources for Conferences and Congregations
Conference/Region Roles in New Beginnings
Conference/Region Application for New Beginnings
Church Application for New Beginnings
"Two of the things I have most appreciated about the New Beginnings program are its extensiveness and thoroughness. I have encountered no other program that gives such a complete assessment of the church from its facilities to finances, from the community around the building to the community within the building, it really helps the church fully understand the reality and potential of its current situation. Combining that with the training for house meetings and ongoing coaching/mentoring gives the church all that it really needs to discern and move into its future."
- Rev. Donald Remick, Associate Conference Minister, Massachusetts Conference, UCC