The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. —Psalm 24:1
The creation belongs to God. We have been given responsibility to care for it, lovingly tend it, and responsibly use it. When, in our brokenness, we hoard resources, violate and plunder the earth carelessly and greedily; when we take more than we need at the expense of others, it violates God's intention for the human community.
In an increasingly interdependent world economic order, unfair systems are working to benefit some and hurt others. The global economic order has created an increasing disparity, in which a relative few are hoarding an increasingly large amount of the world's resources, while over two-thirds of the world fall further and further into miserable, grinding poverty. The church has a responsibility to speak on behalf of, and stand with the poor, oppressed and marginalized.
Major economists are, finally, opposing "free trade" agreements.
Lawrence Summers -- former Secretary of the Treasury, President Emeritus at Harvard University, and former free trade supporter -- writes in his blog that the international trading regime must be re-written from the bottom up. "[T]he promotion of global integration can become a bottom-up rather than a top-down project. The emphasis can shift from promoting integration to managing its consequences. This would mean a shift from international trade agreements to international harmonisation agreements, where issues such as labour rights and environmental protection would take precedence over issues related to empowering foreign producers. It would also mean devoting as much political capital to the trillions that escape tax or evade regulation through cross-border capital flows as we now devote to trade agreements. And it would mean an emphasis on the challenges of middle-class parents everywhere who doubt, but still hope desperately, that their kids can have better lives than they did."
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has long opposed our current "free trade" efforts. See his Tricks of the Trade Deal: Six Big Problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These six short pieces clearly show why Congress must oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You may be especially interested in Why the TPP is a Bad Deal for America and American Workers.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Debate Continues
- Fast Track to the Corporate Wish List by David Dayen, The American Prospect, Summer, 2015
The Text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is Final:
Congress Must Oppose this "Free-Trade" Agreement
On October 5, 2015, negotiators from 12 countries, including the United States, announced they had reached agreement on a final text of the trade agreement. The text has not yet been released but leaked documents and statements made by negotiators have given us insights into the treaty's provisions. Read more.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership
The U.S. is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among 12 Pacific-Rim nations. It is being written in secret. While the exact details of the draft agreement are unknown, its general outlines are familiar. Leaked information has revealed that it is based on, and extends, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 1994 treaty between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that has harmed all three countries. The TPP, and all other NAFTA-based trade agreements, must be stopped. Read more about the TPP and why we must convince Congress to oppose it.
Fast Track Legislation
Before Congress considers new trade agreements (and two are currently in the works) they will first seek to pass "Fast Track" legislation to markedly curtail the usual oversight process and ease passage of the FTAs. Previous similar trade agreements have harmed, not promoted, the common good. Congress must thoroughly and carefully evaluate these agreements. Congress must not pass Fast Track. See Greasing the Skids to Deeper Economic Distress via Fast Track.
What is Fair Trade
Small farmers produce 70% of the world’s coffee and significant amounts of other food products. Worldwide, this includes over 20 million small farm households, more than 125 million people, who depend on agriculture exports for their livelihoods. Fair Trade contributes to sustainable development and improves the lives of small farmers in the global South. More.
Support Authentic Fair Trade
The fair trade movement is in crisis. The fundamental purpose of fair trade – to support small farmers in ways that are good for them, their communities, the environment, and consumers – is being challenged. One part of the fair trade movement is supporting weaker, broader standards that would allow even plantation-growth coffee to be certified as fair trade. The other part of the movement wants to maintain standards that will preserve the movement’s original purpose of helping small farmers. Read more about the crisis and how you can support authentic fair trade.
Globalization We Can Grasp A web-based curriculum on globalization
Globalization We Can Grasp is a five-week, web-based curriculum package exploring economic globalization. The series is based on the Accra Confession: Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth which the UCC’s General Synod commended to the church for study, reflection, prayer, and action. The downloadable printed materials and 15-minutes videos examine problems arising from our system of globalization and feature people who are responding to these problems and making a difference. The curriculum was developed by the North American Covenanting for Justice Working Group, affiliated with the World Communion of Reformed Churches. WCRC is a transnational ecumenical body to which the UCC belongs. There are five modules:
Globalization and the Churches' Response;
Global Climate Change: Renewing the Sacred Balance;
Farm workers, Low Wage Jobs, and Living into a New Economy;
Environmental Justice and Human Rights; and
Faithful Purchasing and the Global Sweatshop Economy.
Each module includes background materials, a downloadable video, study questions, Bible study, and closing liturgy. Download the series.
Trade Week of Action
Each year during the Trade Week of Action, usually held during October, people all over the world mobilize in support of fair trade and in opposition to "free" trade. Most recently, the particular focus of the Week's activities was the right to food. Resources including background information, facts, people's experiences with food security and trade are collected in the Trade Week of Action booklet.
The International, Ecumenical Church and Globalization
The Accra Confession
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (formerly the World Alliance of Reformed Churches) has been engaged in a multi-year process of conversation, prayer, study, and discernment around the issues of economic justice, climate justice, and empire. During this Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth process, member churches from around the world have met together to explore these topics and have issued a number of insightful and moving reports that are available on the WCRC's Covenanting for Justice webpage. In 2004, some 15 years into the process, the 24th General Council of the WARC, meeting in Accra, Ghana, adopted the Accra Confession: Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth. The full text of the Confession plus background information and a "Letter from Accra" to the churches is available in English. WCRC delegates believe that the economic and environmental injustices of today’s global economy require the family of Reformed and United churches to respond as a matter of faith and engage injustices as an integral part of our churches’ witness and mission.
The Accra Confession declared that working to create a more just global economy is essential to Christian faith: “We believe that the integrity of our faith is at stake if we remain silent or refuse to act in the face of the current system of neoliberal economic globalization.” WARC is composed of 214 denominations and faith bodies of Reformed and United churches, including the United Church of Christ, with a combined membership of some 75 million people in 107 countries.
From the Accra Confession: Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth
We believe that God is sovereign over all creation. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Ps. 24.1).Therefore, we reject the current world economic order imposed by global neoliberal capitalism and any other economic system, including aboslute planned economies, which defy God's covenant by excluding the poor, the vulnerable and the whole of creation from the fullness of life. We reject any claim of economic, political and military empire which subverts God's sovereignty over life and acts contrary to God's just rule.
World Council of Churches' AGAPE Process: Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology
The World Council of Churches is engaged in a study/action process about globalization called Poverty, Wealth and Ecology: Impact of Economic Globalization. This process "encourages churches to explore and advocate for alternatives to economic globalization. It is an attempt to bring churches and ecumenical partners from North, South, East and West together to reflect and act together on finding new and creative ways to use global wealth to eradicate poverty."
The WCC process has produced many powerful and informative documents, and sparked important dialogues and action. The AGAPE (Alternative to Economic Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth) process is particularly important with a focus on issues such as just trade, debt cancellation, financial markets, tax evasion, public goods and services, livelihoods and decent jobs, life-giving agriculture, power and empire, and ecological debt.
The WCC brings together 349 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 560 million Christians.
General Synod Resolutions and Pronouncements on Globalization, Trade, and Debt
In 2003, General Synod XXIV adopted a major statement on economic globalization: A Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just, Humane Direction for Economic Globalization." This Pronouncement describes the impact of economic globalization on people and countries in both the global North and South and outlines ways that all settings of the UCC can respond. A Study Guide can be used to facilitate a discussion of these issues. The Pronouncement was developed in response to a General Synod XXIII Resolution adopted in 2001.
More General Synod Resolutions and Pronouncements addressing economic justice and immigration
More Educational Resources
The educational resources just below examine various aspects of economic globalization. Each resource provides an informative discussion of a single issue, a short list of related materials, and a prayer.
- What is Economic Globalization provides an overview of this multi-faceted topic.
- Jubilee and the International Debt Crisis addresses the problem of third world debt and the need for debt cancellation.
- Jobs in a Globalizing Economy examines the movement of jobs from the U.S. to the global South, and the impact on workers in the U.S. and around the world.
- Intellectual Property addresses the issues of patents and intellectual property rights within a globalizing economy.
End Sweatshops: Abusive sweatshop working conditions, in the U.S. and abroad, must be eliminated.
- Strong Roots, Fragile Farms - an award-winning DVD hosted by Willie Nelson, describes the impact of globalization and agribusess on family farms in the U.S. and around the world.
- Troubled Waters - hosted by Lynn Redgrave, explores the critical issue of water shortage through the lens of faith and from the perspective of people in Bolivia, Malawi, the Middle East and the United States.
God is still speaking through and to the United Church of Christ. Members and congregations are claiming and embracing God's call to evangelism. Evangelism is vital for the future of the United Church of Christ. God is saying to the United Church of Christ to be ready and set to grow in witness, outreach and welcome.
Evangelism Ministry proclaims the gospel in the world and the church, as well as, starts, nurtures, strengthens and renews congregations in partnership with Conferences.
Evangelism Ministry works with The Congregational Vitality Initiative to provide resources and workshop for vital congregations to be ready and set to grow in discerning God's mission, understanding community and culture, and nurturing discipleship of witness, outreach and welcome.
The response to The Still Speaking Ministry has shown that Now is the Time for New Church Development in the United Church of Christ. In partnership with Conferences, the Now is the Time Vision and Strategy calls for a growth toward 250 new churches by 2011 and more than 1,600 new churches by 2021. Developing leadership for new churches is necessary. This summer the second Leadership Institute for New Church Planters will be held in Atlanta in August. Potential new church planters can assess their gifts for new church development using an Assessment Tool available through Evangelism Ministry. Evangelism Ministry works in partnership with Local Church Ministries Church Building & Loan to prepare new churches to become Partners in Building. Evangelism Ministry provides funding for new and renewing congregations in partnership with Conferences.
Please browse our listing of resources that you can use to lift up Evangelism in your local congregtion.
As well, take the time to read a brief message from Minister and Team Leader, the Rev. David Schoen.
Churches Growing Churches
On-line resource partners
Visit the links below for additional Evangelism resources:
Blessings as you get ready and set to grow to be the evangelist that God is calling you to be!
It costs about $35,000 to incarcerate a juvenile. It takes just $7,000 a year to educate one.
Juveniles can be tried as adults in all 50 states, and are vulnerable to adult punishments. They may also be remanded to adult prisons.
The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child states that crimes committed by a juvenile should not result in execution or life in prison without parole. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute people for crimes they committed as children. As a consequence, a number of young people were released from death row into the general prison population. Five other countries execute people for juvenile offenses: Iran, Yemen, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
The Twenty-Third General Synod stated, "We affirm the right of juveniles to an equitable system of justice that respects the life and promise of our youth."
October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month
The United States has more than 60,000 children sitting in jail, lost in a broken system that has led our country to incarcerate more children than any other nation. Why are we turning our backs on the youngest, most vulnerable members of society, locking up 2 out of 3 of those who are convicted of nonviolent offenses? Why are 80 percent of children who are imprisoned black or Hispanic? And why are we punishing these children so harshly, dooming some of them to solitary confinement, where they are left torturously alone, causing severe physical and psychological harm? Voices from all points of the political spectrum, including the faith community are calling for answers and solutions to these and many other issues. They are speaking out and raising awareness for criminal justice and youth justice reform.
The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative committed to seeking solutions for these troubling questions. It is focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.
Annually, the Campaign sponsors National Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM) which aims to provide people across the country an opportunity to develop action-oriented events in their communities during the month of October. Individuals, communities and organizations can advocate for better juvenile justice policies by elevating the importance of issues such as determining the age that juveniles are classified as adults, housing juveniles with adult offenders, and isolation in solitary confinement. This year President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation observing October as National Youth Justice Awareness Month. Read the President’s Proclamation.
One way that your local congregation can be involved this year is to partner with organizations to get local governments or state Governors to pass resolutions declaring that October is Youth Justice Awareness Month.
- Youth Justice Awareness Month Guide to Passing a Resolution
- How to Host a Film Screening
- Childhood Interrupted (Film | Discussion Guide)
- Stickup Kid (Film | Discussion Questions)
JWM is interested in knowing what activities, actions your local congregation will undertake during National Youth Justice Awareness Month. Email your events, film screenings, discussion, actions, photos, stories, etc. to Barbara T. Baylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIG NEWS: Reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act introduced in Congress
Recently, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation, S.1169, to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which was created in 1974 and has not been updated since 2002.
The legislation would make improvements to the law, including:
- incorporating recent research into adolescent behavior and brain research,
- requiring that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) identify best practices to serve and protect at-risk youth,
- phasing out remaining circumstances when youth can be detained for status offenses (offenses which would not be a crime if committed by an adult),
- removing youth charged in adult court from placement in adult jails.
The JJDPA is the only federal law that sets national standards for the treatment of youth involved in juvenile justice systems. In the 40 years since it was first enacted into law, the JJDPA has enabled significant improvements to juvenile justice, including reducing youth crime rates and supporting many states in creating fairer approaches that help youth stay connected to their communities and get back on track.
In 2001 the 23rd General Synod of the United Church of Christ affirmed advocacy for fair and appropriate treatment of youth, especially as they are involved with or at risk for involvement in the criminal justice system.
Resources on the JJDPA & the New Senate Bill
- Read the bill text
- Key changes to JJDP Reauthorization Act introduced in 113th Congress
- Major Provisions of Juvenile Justice Reauthorization Act of 2015
- Act4JJ's Resources on the JJDPA
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ's (UCC) designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
Open and Affirming Resources
UCC Resources carries ONA and other LGBT related published by the UCC, Pilgrim Press and the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns.
Building an Inclusive Church - training and toolkit resources for preparing and facilitating the ONA process
United Church of Christ Office for LGBT Ministries
Health and Wholeness Advocacy, Justice and Local Church Ministries
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, Executive and Team Leader
Phone: +1 216-736-3217
HIV & AIDS
Andy Lang, Executive Director
For almost sixty years, thousands of refugees from all over the world have been resettled by hundreds of UCC churches participating in Refugee Ministries. The UCC Refugee Ministries has been reaching out to refugees helping them start anew and advocating for their safety and fair treatment.
Refugees are people who have fled their countries due to war and persecution. Most refugees prefer to return home, but it is often too dangerous because of ongoing conflict and unrest. Some languish in refugee camps for a decade or more. Others remain in neighboring countries. Some seek asylum in the U.S. on their own, taking great risks, facing the dangers and despair of detention or deportation.
There are more than 21 million refugees in the world today. Three-fourths of the world's refugees are women and children. Another 44 million people are internally displaced within the borders of their own countries due to civil war or other conflicts. Less than one percent of refugees have the opportunity to resettle in North America, Australia or Europe.
Through UCC Refugee Ministries, this mass of suffering humanity becomes a name, a face, a person made known to ordinary church folk who have made an extraordinary commitment to help refugees begin a new life in the United States.
In 2007, we invited church folk to share their stories about refugee resettlement with us. We were delighted by the enthusiastic response to our request. In our preparation of the Refugee Journal: Telling the Story of UCC Refugee Ministries we received over 110 stories.
It is now our challenge and joy to find meaningful ways to share these stories as we uplift the rich legacy of UCC Churches faithful action in response to God's call to "welcome the stranger" and love the sojourner. Listen as we share scripture and excerpts from their stories.
"Peace, peace to the far and the near, says the Lord and I will heal them."
"There are millions of people who need our hospitality. A resettlement with us means a new life for refugees and a hope of achieving peace and stability in their lives."
Ed Ballam, First Congregational Church, Haverhill, NH
"We came because for 4 years there was a war in our country. One day, I came home from work and our house was on fire. Semsudin was in a concentration camp for 6 months. We lived in Serb territory and were not safe. We moved to Croatia. In Croatia we contacted refugee ministry."
Suvada Tahirovic, from Bosnia in CT.
"It began with a request one Sunday in the fall of 2002 for people to... help with refugee resettlement. I,[answered the] call and embarked on a journey. Our first task was to acquire, through donations, suitable household goods and furniture. It is a little daunting to attempt to ?decorate' for someone you don't know with donated goods. The prevailing thought was to make it seem like home. After several weeks of planning, sorting and moving we were amazed at what a lovely apartment had been assembled.
Edwina Gower, First Plymouth Congregational, Lincoln, NE.
"The stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler..."
"What a powerful experience for those of us waiting on the other side with open arms and open hearts. The culture shock, stress, and confusion was evident in their tear-stained faces. They had endured so much, and carried the deep burden of not knowing whether their parents had survived. Those stressed faces now carry broad smiles."
Sue Robert, East Congregational, UCC, Grand Rapids, MI.
"There were so many people waiting for us - like family - it was as if they knew us."
Regina Conton from Sierra Leone resettled in CT
"(Naik) and Naseem were very sweet, however so emaciated that I felt like I was hugging skeletons with skin. Their eyes betrayed a sense of unspoken tragedy. Naik was very disoriented and had something wrong with her eye. However, when Naseem smiled it was like watching the sun come out after a rainstorm."
Kate Carmell, St. Paul's UCC, Seattle, WA.
"...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing..."
"Although refugee resettlement takes time and energy, it is a gratifying way for people to give. Those who resettle refugees form close relationships with each other, strengthening the church."
Rev. David Kratz, Fauntleroy UCC, Seattle, WA.
"It was a joy, the first Sunday after their arrival, having our "family" attend our church to meet all of us who were working to make their beginning here in the U.S. a good experience."
Cliff and Bobbie Burnett, First Congregational, Kent, CT.
"They slip ever so innocently into our very lives. We share clothing, furniture, hopes and dreams with them. We take them for shots, dental appointments, visits to the social security office, the local schools, we find them jobs - we share pictures that are then mailed back to their former homeland. We listen with love as they tell of leaving family and homes behind to begin the frightening venture of starting from square one in adopting a new home. They will be our friends for life."
Rev. Alfred K. Schwerdt, Immanuel UCC, Shillington, PA
"We feel like birds freed from a cage."
Semsudin Tahirovic, Bosnian resettled in CT
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it."
"Our lives have truly been blessed as we continue to learn about their Bosnian culture and their Muslim faith. Two different cultures and two different faiths, but we still have a lot in common!!! The world gets a whole lot smaller when you grow to know people from different walks of life. I thank God every day for bringing us the Tahirovic's. We have learned so much from them and are grateful for their lasting friendship."
Betsy Levesque, First Congregational, Kent, CT
"The families are dear to the hearts of sponsors and have taught us valuable lessons never to be forgotten. We are awed by the courage, creativity and determination shown by these once homeless people. Their ability to overcome anxiety and disappointment, the loss of homeland and culture, their sense of fun and joy in special moments speak to us of grace and challenge our faith.
Fran Stiles, Mountain Rise UCC, Rochester, NY
"In two years, this African family which arrived in our country with three duffel bags containing all their belongings, studied English, learned about a vastly different culture, took difficult jobs, learned to drive, bought cars, and their first house! The process comes full circle as the children now attend the same schools as my children and they have become true peers, not "sponsors" and "refugees."
Rae Hunter-Pirtle, First Plymouth Congregational, Lincoln, NE.
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
It is our hope and prayer that these powerful stories will stay with you. Please help us to interpret this work with refugees. We have some wonderful new resources to help you do that.
II. One way we invite you to help support and interpret Refugee Ministries, is to share:
The Refugee Journal: Telling the Story of UCC Refugee MInistries, and our new video In the Eyes of a Stranger which is under nine minutes. For youth we have The Uprooted Game. These are available upon request. The video will be available from conference resource centers in February. We encourage you to lift up refugees in connection with the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Share a minute for mission, using these stories. Share them with Sunday School classes.
III. A Challenge we place before you:
Become an advocate for refugees. Join the UCC Take Action network. Send letters to your representatives about refugees.
Locate a Church World Service affiliate in your area and make contact with them. Learn about refugee resettlement in your community.
Full Members of the UCC Council for Higher Education
- Catawba College, Salisbury, NC; www.catawba.edu
- Chapman University, Orange, CA; www.chapman.edu
- Defiance College, Defiance, OH; www.defiance.edu
- Dillard University, New Orleans, LA; www.dillard.edu
- Doane College, Crete, NE; www.doane.edu
- Drury University, Springfield, MO; www.drury.edu
- Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL; www.elmhurst.edu
- Heidelberg University, Tiffin, OH; www.heidelberg.edu
- Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, TX; www.htu.edu
- Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL; www.ic.edu
- Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI; www.lakeland.edu
- LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, TN; www.loc.edu
- Northland College, Ashland, WI; www.northland.edu
- Olivet College, Olivet, MI; www.olivetcollege.edu
- Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR; www.pacificu.edu
- Piedmont College, Demorest, GA; www.piedmont.edu
- Rocky Mountain College, Billings, MT; www.rocky.edu
- Talladega College, Talladega, AL; www.talladega.edu
- Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS; www.tougaloo.edu
Historically Related Colleges and Universities
- Beloit College, Beloit, WI; www.beloit.edu
- Carleton College, Northfield, MN; www.carleton.edu
- Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA; www.cedarcrest.edu
- Elon University, Elon, NC; www.elon.edu
- Fisk University, Nashville, TN; www.fisk.edu
- Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA; www.fandm.edu
- Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; www.grinnell.edu
- Hood College, Frederick, MD; www.hood.edu
- Ripon College, Ripon, WI; www.ripon.edu
- Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA; www.ursinus.edu
- Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City, UT; www.wcslc.edu
Looking to join a group of UCC musicians? Check out the United Church of Christ Musicians Association. The UCCMA offers its members among other things a professional journal, a bi-monthly newsletter, regional professional development events, and a biennial national conference. Membership is open to everyone.
Click here if you are looking for hymn suggestions for worship. While the hymns suggestions are from The New Century Hymnal a simple search of your hymnal's index will reveal whether or not the hymn is in your hymnbook.
Click here if you are looking for song suggestions from Sing! Prayer and Praise. You'll notice a variety of indexes, including one based on the Revised Common Lectionary.
Seeking a new music or arts position? Check out the UCC Opportunities Database searchable by state and keyword.
Can't figure out where to find that hymn? Check out this excellent website!
Looking for a new song for worship? This blog provides a wealth of songs to select from based on the lectionary. It now includes selections from Sing! Prayer and Praise.
JWPepper has an excellent choral anthem suggestion website based on the Revised Common Lectionary. Go to the planning calendar, click on the date, and you'll receive multiple recommendations!
How about images for worship? The Vanderbilt Divinity Library has images available based on the Revised Common Lectionary. After locating the lectionary passage, click on the "Art" link. Please note the copyright citations, located on the information page for each image, and cite the sources as required.
Need to compare different Bible translations? The Bible Gateway has dozens of searchable translations.
Wondering what to pay your musician? Check out this excellent resource from the UCC Musicians Association (UCCMA). The UCCMA is a private UCC musicians' organization supported by yearly dues. Check out their website for more information.
Still wondering about compensation for the church musicians? The American Guild of Organists also has some information for you!
Sing! Prayer and Praise™-- the praise and worship song book developed by the United Church of Christ and published in 2009. The song book features 217 songs of which about 100 are new! Each song was selected with careful attention to theological and musical integrity, while keeping in mind the diverse nature of UCC congregations. Order a copy of the pew edition of Sing! Prayer and Praise from The Pilgrim Press. For more information go to the Sing! Prayer and Praise website.
Check the side navigation column for Sing! Prayer and Praise indexes. Contribute your suggestions for the index of your choice!
The piano accompaniment edition is also available. Order a copy here.
The New Century Hymnal on CD
The New Century Hymnal brought to life on a 35 CD collection! Designed for congregational worship and personal devotion, this all-pipe organ (no singing) resource is now available. The collection features every hymn in The New Century Hymnal, along with a musical introduction to each hymn.
(For verses in other languages, congregations are encouraged to substitute another language for an English verse. Verses equivalent to the number of English verses for each hymn are provided. Select hymns contain an accompaniment for an additional language verse.)
The New Century Hymnal on CD features United Church of Christ musicians playing United Church of Christ pipe organs. Recordings were made live, on location in Cleveland, Ohio area churches.
The New Century Hymnal
A Pipe-Organ Accompaniment CD Resource for Congregational Worship and Personal Devotion
THE PILGRIM PRESS
All 617 hymns from The New Century Hymnal are recorded here by UCC organists. These can be played in stereo systems, boom boxes, and automobile CD players.
Each of four CD cases contains a booklet with the hymn number, name, track, and play-time for easy use and worship planning.
For more information, click here.
These graduate schools and programs in theology play an important role in the preparation of pastoral leaders for the United Church of Christ:
- The six seminaries of the United Church of Christ have been recognized by the General Synod for their special commitment to the UCC.
- The historically related seminaries, some engaging as members of the UCC Council for Higher Education, continue to serve the church in ecumenical settings.
- The Regional Theological Education Consortium, a hub for multiple models of theological education, connects UCC conference and association based programs which have as part of their goals the formation of Members in Discernment toward authorized ministry, as well as a commitment to lay theological education.
Seminaries of the United Church of Christ
Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School
New Haven, CT
Chicago Theological Seminary
Eden Theological Seminary
St. Louis, MO
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Pacific School of Religion
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
New Brighton, MN
Historically Related Seminaries of the United Church of Christ
Harvard University Divinity School
Howard University School of Divinity
Interdenominational Theological Center
Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico
San Juan, PR
Union Theological Seminary
New York, NY
Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Yale University Divinity School
New Haven, CT
In recent years more and more churches, both denominations and local churches, have been engaged in helping members do planned giving—the giving of gifts of accumulated assets either in the giver's lifetime or after death. Often when a church begins exploration to establish a planned giving fund, or endowment fund, there is debate among members as to whether a church should be accumulating assets. Should a church establish an endowment fund?
Yes, there are faithful reasons for doing so. The first reason is that God has called those of us who follow Jesus Christ to be stewards. Douglas John Hall, Canadian theologian, in his book The Steward; A Biblical Symbol Come of Age, writes that stewardship "describes the whole posture called 'Christian.' Being stewards we have a relationship first of all to God, the creator, then to other human beings, then to nonhuman creatures, and towards Earth, our common home. Assets, whether they be land, money, stocks, or real estate are a part of what God has called us to relate to in a faithful way so that we can relate to the other aspects of creation more faithfully.
Yes, the assets can be spent as soon as they are given, but a well-organized and thoughtthrough plan for receiving such assets and for the use of the income provides the opportunity for the mission of the church to continue through many years to come. A man came to his minister when she had first come to his church and said, "Do you know anything about endowments? I will be giving a great deal of money to this church when I die and I would like to see our church plan for receiving such assets as I plan to give so that our church can widen its ministry and mission to others. I would like to see the assets I give to the church go on in perpetuity to serve those in need." Generous as he was in life, he was concerned that a good plan be put into place.
Some people are concerned that an endowment fund will choke off regular, faithful and proportionate giving by members because "we have all that money." If the assets are invested wisely, and guidelines are established that direct the income to new mission, mission only for others, or in some cases major capital projects, then this kind of giving does not "choke off' regular annual giving to the church. A well-planned endowment policy enables members of churches who have considerable assets to give to their church in a way that is faithful and will further the realm of God on earth.
The church that has concern for socially responsible investments can invest its endowment assets through United Church Funds ensuring that their investments are socially responsible. As stockholders in corporations, church members can exert influence on those corporations so that they are socially responsible.
The income from endowments enables many churches to reach far beyond what they would be able to do through the yearly pledges of their members and the annual budget. Churches have begun retirement homes, sponsored children in other countries, resettled refugees, started youth centers, given scholarships to people who wish to receive seminary training, begun a new program with "start up" money from the investments, made their church building accessible to persons who are differently abled, supported mission schools in countries where women rarely receive education, and a host of other important and needed ministries. One church with a relatively small amount of money endowed to it in the early 1900's sent over fifty people to seminary.
We live in a country and society in which money and other assets are the base of the economy. In recent years people have accrued valuable assets. These people need their churches to provide the opportunity for them to give of those assets in a way that builds up the body of Christ and serves the world.
The Reverend Anne D. Kear
Rocky Mountain Conference
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