Illuminating the past, realizing the present, and envisioning the future
We are a church-wide resource whose task is to gather, provide, and interpret information and trends for the purpose of illuminating the past, realizing the present, and envisioning the future of the United Church of Christ in the larger context.
In our roles, we:
- Collect, analyze, maintain and report data for wider church use
- Determine data and assessment needs
- Develop the annual UCC Yearbook and Directory, as well as the online resource, Access UCC
- Work collaboratively across all settings of the UCC to analyze trends and produce relevant up-to-date information for vital ministry
Who are UCC young adults?
In the UCC, young adults are considered those between the ages of 18 and 30. The reality is that a young adult could be female, male, a student, a professional, single, married, a parent, still living with a parent, Generation X or a Millennial, a seminarian, an ordained minister, someone who hasn't set foot in a church since high school and anything in between. "Young Adult" is a distinction of age that encompasses a group as diverse and dynamic as any in the UCC.
How can young adults get involved?
Young Adult Service Communities are unique opportunities for you to live in intentional community with others who share your commitment to service and social justice. Together, you will find the space to reflect on questions of meaning and to network for change.
Service and Justice Internships
The YASC network gives you the opportunity to grow professionally and change the world through intern placements with local nonprofit agencies, which are dedicated to justice advocacy and collaborative action.
Your placement will also allow you the opportunity to grow spiritually as you serve in a leadership position at a United Church of Christ congregation. Through this work you can see the convergence of church and world.
Finally, YASC provides you a space to grow personally by living in community with other young leaders, exploring together your direction, calling and future action in the world.
The Summer Communities of Service program is an ecumenical collaboration between the UCC Volunteer Ministries and Alliance of Baptists. Particpants live and serve from June to mid-August in host congregations from around the United States. There a four fundamental facets, which together form the foundation of the SCOS program:
The "intentional Christian community element" makes this program distinct and effective. Interns share a common food allowance, transportation funds and spiritual growth insights. Participants live in community with each other and with their hosts in their temporary city.
In the UCC and Alliance of Baptists diversity is a big piece of our identity. Both churches uphold socially progressive statements and advocate politically from a faith perspective. Diverse, community-service-integrated ministries show interns, congregations, the wider church and world where this faith-inspired work is happening in our midst. The SCOS projects help interns develop long-term commitment to engage in this kind of ministry.
Hands-On Justice Advocacy/Service Opportunities
Grow professionally. Change the World.
Grow Personally. Grow Spiritually.
The Global Mission Intern program invites you to challenge yourself in a one to three year international mission service opportunity. As you offer yourself in service, you will also learn more about yourself, your relationship with God, and your place in God’s world. You will build relationships that will change the way you look at the world. You will be a part of a growing group of young adults who have been transformed by these experiences and will provide you a new community on return. You will come back from your year in mission equipped to provide a global perspective on issues facing the church in our hurting world today.
The UCC national setting recommends sites within the United States that host mission opportunities for groups. These host sites are rooted in local communities and utilize volunteer groups in their on-going service within those places. Volunteers experience God’s presence among new people and in new places through these experiences. UCC Mission Trip Opportunities are short-term, lasting up to a week.
Working together as a significant partner in the ministry and future of the church, OMA seeks to advise, connect and advocate on behalf of the network of persons responsible for Outdoor Ministries in the United Church of Christ. The Outdoor Ministry Association works to support and encourage the staff, volunteers, board members and conferences at these special places; to promote outdoor ministries in all areas of the church; and to celebrate the many wonders of God's nature!
The Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries (CYYAM) advocates, communicates, coordinates, and networks on behalf of youth and young adults of the UCC. CYYAM members work together and with other church leaders to establish strong youth and young adult ministries throughout the UCC by advocating to church leaders, helping make youth and young adult voices heard at General Synod, seeking to address issues of social justice and peace, and serving as a voice for UCC youth and young adults.
The vision of Justice & Witness Ministries is of a more just, peaceful and compassionate world that honors all of God’s creation. Leaders are needed throughout our churches and communities to help share, pursue and achieve this vision. Justice Leaders Engaging and Developing (Justice LED) is a program that offers training, leadership skills and support to local churches and UCC members who seek tangible ways to move our world towards this vision.
Together with Sexuality and Our Faith, Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of sexuality.
Perspectives and Procedures for Ecclesiastical Authorization of Ministry
The changing landscapes of church and denominational life in the 21st century impact the form and function of ministry, including the ways in which the United Church of Christ calls, authorizes and oversees ministers. Consequently our Manual on Ministry, which saw its last update in 2002, needs reflection and re-vision -- a fresh, 21st century vision for authorized and authorizing ministry. To that end, the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team) formed the Habakkuk Group, tasked with seeing and writing the vision of authorized ministry and making it plain for the United Church of Christ. In 2017, the Habakkuk Group's work is being engaged through four regional events across the denomination.
A draft of the re-visioned Manual on Ministry is shared by the Habakkuk Group for the wider church’s discernment through engagement. This draft reflects feedback provided by judicatory staff, seminary partners, Committee on Ministry members, and national and ecumenical colleagues in 2016. An additional chart overviews the feedback received thus far by outlining which parts of the drafted MOM are ready to use and which ideas of the drafted MOM are still in discernment. The wider church’s continued reflection is invited during 2017 through use of the discussion guide and completion of a feedback form.
In 2017, a draft of the re-visioned Manual on Ministry was presented by the Habakkuk Group for conversation across the United Church of Christ. The group listened deeply to the wider church’s engagement of this draft, and at its December 2017 meeting, the Habakkuk Group worked to distill all of these conversations, placing the breadth of feedback alongside its own discernment in order to make the decisions necessary to move the drafted Manual on Ministry toward the next edition of MOM. Multiple denomination-wide surveys were also incorporated into this period of discernment including a survey regarding the use of Licensed Ministry in the UCC.
Click here to find a synopsis of the Habakkuk Group’s conclusions, including a detailed guide to advise the wider church about the aspects of the 2017 drafted Manual on Ministry that will be revised as well as those that will remain largely unchanged. We encourage Committees on Ministry and conferences to feel confident in their continued use of the 2017 drafted Manual on Ministry as an authoritative resource, noting the changes outlined in the synopsis.
The United Church of Christ Manual on Ministry is published in ten separate sections or booklets. Each section is available separately or as part of the complete Manual that includes all ten sections in a single binder. The ten sections are:
1. Partners in Authorizing Ministry
An overview of the covenantal relationships and underlying assumptions about authorized ministry, including the ministerial codes.
2. Student in Care of Association
Commentary, processes, and procedures for those preparing to enter the Ordained Ministry of the United Church of Christ.
3. Ordained Ministry
Commentary, processes, and procedures for Ordained Ministry, including Ordained Ministerial Standing.
4. Dual Standing and Privilege of Call
Commentary, processes, and procedures for those ordained ministers of denominations other than the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who seek to serve in the United Church of Christ or who seek to enter the Ordained Ministry of the United Church of Christ. Ordained ministers of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) should see section 5, "Ordained Ministerial Partner."
5. Ordained Ministerial Partner
Commentary, processes, and procedures related to the reconciliation of ministries with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
6. Commissioned Ministry
Commentary, processes, and procedures for Commissioned Ministry, including Commissioned Ministerial Standing.
7. Licensed Ministry
Commentary, processes, and procedures for Licensed Ministry.
8. The Oversight of Ministries
Commentary, processes, and procedures for the nurture and accountability of the ministries of the Church.
9. Ecclesiastical Endorsement
Commentary, processes, and procedures for those seeking to serve as chaplains in professional organizations and military or other U.S. government agencies.
10. Supplemental Materials
Commentary, appendices, and a glossary related to multiple sections of Manual on Ministry.