You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. ---Deuteronomy 24:14-15
Each worker - judge or janitor, sales clerk or scientist, mother or millionaire CEO - is equal in the sight of God. Each person's work, done with integrity, is a contribution to society and has value and dignity. But the world doesn't always see it this way.
Workers are dependent on their employer but employers are much less dependent on any particular worker. This unequal power relationship can lead to problems in the workplace. A common way that workers have responded is to join a labor union.
Articles and studies
Fast-food workers intensify fight for $15 an hour by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, July 28, 2014
The war on workers, April 3, 2014. A recent Supreme Court ruling weakens the labor movement.
At labor group, a sense of a broader movement, Sept 14, 2013. The labor movement is all workers who act together to improve our jobs.
AFL-CIO has plan to add millions of nonunion members by Steven Greenhouse in the New York Times, Sept. 7, 2013.
If labor dies, what's next? by Harold Meyerson in the American Prospect, Sep/Oct 2012. An excellent overview of the current state of the labor movement plus a brief history of the developments in the U.S. labor movement since 1834.
State and local government workers' unions are under attack. Read more.
Unions are one of the very best ways for workers to bring greater justice to the workplace. The right of workers to form or join unions is so important and fundamental that it is an internationally-recognized human right.
In 1993 the United Church of Christ's General Synod XIX expressed its support "for public policies that restore the rights of working people to engage in collective bargaining without fear of reprisal."
In 1997 General Synod XXI reaffirmed the "responsibility of workers to organize for collective bargaining with employers regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions, and the responsibility of employers to create and maintain a climate conducive to the workers' autonomous decision to organize."
Today just as much as ever, workers need unions. All people who seek justice must support workers' rights to form and join a union. The right to organize a union and bargain collectively with employers is a fundamental human rights. See Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Why People of Faith Support Labor Unions describes how our faith calls us to support workers and their labor unions, and calls for Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
Why Unions Matter (2.51MB) by our partner Interfaith Worker Justice
Workers, acting together in a union, have been able to improve their work lives and their work places. Congregations and members of the UCC have been involved in these struggles.
Farm workers struggled for better conditions in the fields picking tomatoes for Taco Bell, McDonalds, and Burger King. They now have labor contracts with these firms, higher wages, and greater dignity.
- Smithfield Packing Company workers after many years of struggle were able to freely make the choice to form a union.
As a congregation discerns whether to become an Economic Justice Church, it can be helpful to learn about some of the economic injustices that millions, even billions, of people face every day. Or, once a congregation decides to be an Economic Justice Church, it may want to explore various topics to discern the justice work it is being called to do.
This section of the Economic Justice Covenant Program is intended to give readers small amounts of important information about a number of economic justice topics. Don’t be overwhelmed. Browse through these issues and see what touches your heart, what touches the heart of the congregation. What are you being called to work on at this time?
Each topic area provides links to more resources and suggestions about ways to get involved and begin to change unjust conditions. In addition to the resources and organizations found in these links, there are probably local or state-based organizations working on these issues closer to your church. You may prefer to work close to home through these groups.
Congregational Resource: Restoring Justice and Democracy in America
What faith communities can do. A six session congregation-based educational program prepared by UCC members in the Northern California/Nevada Conference. Download.
Issues to ExplorePublic Education & Economic Justice
“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms,’ who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermillion. Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me?” says the Lord. Jeremiah 22:13-16
Scripture reveals that the struggle to achieve economic justice for all is an imperative of the Christian faith. The Bible contains many passages related to the poor and matters of economic justice. It makes clear God’s deep concern for the last, the lost, and the least. As illustrated in the Gospel stories where Jesus and the disciples feed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish (Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-38), God’s economy is a gift of grace that is not for sale in the marketplace. God’s economy of life provides abundantly for all God’s people.
We are called to share with our neighbors out of the abundance that God gives to the world. The poor and marginalized are special members of God’s community and we are called to put justice for “the least of these” at the center of the community of life and the mission of the church (Matt 25:40). The Bible tells us that rules devised to benefit some segments of society should not stand if they also disadvantage or harm the poor. “Hear this,” warns Amos (8:4) “you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land…” indicating that manipulating markets, cheating, and exploiting the poor are violations of the vision of God.
God’s envisions a world where all God’s children have everything they need to thrive, live lives of wholeness, and be the people they were created to be. To make God’s vision a reality, God calls the Church to action, to “loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6). Let us answer God’s call to be co-creators with God of a world of justice.
The General Synod has repeatedly spoken about the need for economic justice. Two Synod pronouncements are especially informative:
- Christian Faith: Economic Life and Justice [pdf 11.4 MB], approved by General Synod XVII in 1989, saw the struggle to achieve economic justice for all as an imperative of the Christian faith and made a commitment to a guaranteed national minimum income level, universal health care, full employment, affordable housing, and quality education for all.
- A Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just and Humane Direction for Economic Globalization, approved by General Synod XXIV in 2003, describes the impact of the past 25 years of “neo-liberal” economic globalization and calls for fundamental changes in the rules and institutions that shape the process of globalization.
Important resolutions include:
- Affirming Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy (GS XXI, 1999) calls us to support unions, and advocate for just, democratic, participatory, and inclusive economic policies.
- For the Common Good (GS XXV, 2005) calls for fair taxes, public institutions and services, full employment, living wages, adequate income for each person, affordable housing, public transportation.
A listing of all General Synod resolutions and pronouncements that address economic issues since 1999 and selected ones before that date.
Direct Action & Research Training Network Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST) (St. Petersburg)
Mission: Coalition of over 35 religious congregations working together to achieve social and economic justice in Pinellas county, FL. FAST is a grassroots, direct-action, multi-issue organization which brings people together to improve the quality of life in their communities. FAST's mission is to build the power of religious congregations to solve community problems by holding systems accountable. FAST organizes its membership to a large 'direct action' where leaders negotiate with public officials from a position of mutual power and respect. (http://www.thedartcenter.org/location/fast)
Volunteer Position: Community organizing with congregations. This position includes coordination with leaders in congregations, research, action and financial development.
Period: 9-12 month placements throughout the year
Apply by: 3 months prior to requested start date
Housing: Host Family
Minimum Age: 21 years with college degree
Direct Action & Research Training Network Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation, & Empowerment (ICARE) (Jacksonville)
Mission: ICARE is a coalition of over 20 religious congregations working together to achieve social & economic justice in the Jacksonville area. ICARE's mission is to build the power of religious congregations to solve community problems by holding systems accountable. ICARE organizes its membership to a lar 'direct action' where leaders can negotiate with public officials from a position of mutual power and respect. The DART Network of congregation-based community organizations based in nineteen cities throughout five states. (http://www.thedartcenter.org/location/icare-5/)
Volunteer Position: This position includes coordination with leaders in congregations, reach, action and financial development
Period: 9-12 month placements throughout the year
Apply by: 3 months prior to requested start date
Housing: Host Family
Minimum Age: 21 years with college degree
2019 Yearbook & Directory Statistics
(based on annual reports)
2019 Eleven Year History Reports
2018 Yearbook & Directory Statistics
(based on annual reports)
2018 Eleven Year History Reports
2017 Yearbook & Directory Statistics
(based on annual reports)
2017 Eleven Year History Reports
2016 Yearbook & Directory Statistics
(based on annual reports)
2016 Eleven Year Conference Reports
Kansas - Oklahoma
Montana, Northern Wyoming
Missouri Mid - South
2015 Yearbook & Directory Statistics (based on annual reports)
2015 Eleven Year Conference Reports
2014 Yearbook & Directory Statistics (based on annual reports)
2014 Eleven Year Conference Reports
These tools and programs have been especially designed to strengthen the justice ministry in your congregation. Learn more about each of them by using the links below.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a yearly gathering of the ecumenical Christian community. This weekend of learning, worship and advocacy is grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues. Learn more and join us in DC!
Host a Justice Revival
What it is: Over the past several years, Justice and Witness Ministries has supported local churches in the creation of “justice revivals.” These revivals have been opportunities to be inspired by preaching and informed by workshops and training all through the lens of justice. So far, revivals have been hosted in Vancouver, WA and Milwaukee, WI. Rev. Andrew Warner, who is pastor of Plymouth Church in Milwaukee, has captured his planning process and put it into a toolkit for others to use as a model.
How to use it: Use this event as a way to spark a revival of justice work in your local church or conference. Download the Revival Manual and consider how such an event could be held in your community. Reach out to Justice and Witness Ministries for support, and inform your local conference office for help with planning or promotion.
|Issue-Centered Programs||Other Opportunities
A2A is the terminology used within the United Church to refer to congregations that have completed the Accessible to All process and thereby made the commitment to be physically and attitudinally welcoming of people with disabilities. The A2A process has for many years been defined by the A2A resource “Any Body, Everybody, Christ’s Body”; the “process” is completed by completing the check list in the back of the A2A resource and sending this checklist to UCC Disabilities Ministries.
Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education programs for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults. The resources are written by professional sexuality educators and provide accurate information for parents, teachers and pastors to be used in the affirming and supportive setting of our churches. We offer training opportunities for individuals who want to become OWL instructors.
In 2009, General Synod XXVII approved a resolution that established the Economic Justice Covenant Program. The resolution encouraged all congregations and other settings of the UCC to become Economic Justice Churches (or Economic Justice Seminaries, Associations, Conferences, etc): to study economic injustices, pray and discern God's will for their economic justice ministry, draft and adopt an Economic Justice Covenant, and engage in actions to promote economic justice.
This curriculum is designed primarily for a local church but is easily adaptable for the needs of other settings.
Homegrown Faith & Justice introduces children and youth ages 3 to 18 to the following topics, with Biblical reflection and age-appropriate conversation moments and activities:
We challenge all our congregations to become Green Justice Congregations. Why not just “green?” Because like Sally Bingham says, justice is more than just changing light bulbs. It is about a transformation of our hearts and minds to see God’s creation in new ways that lead to living in new ways. It is about acting on new values in your life and in the life of your community.
Become an immigrant welcoming congregation. The Journey toward becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation involves multiple study and reflection sessions. Download this wonderful toolkit created by our UCC Southwest Conference.
Just Peace Church
The Just Peace Church vision is a hallmark of United Church of Christ theological identity. For over two decades, the Just Peace Church pronouncement has inspried a grassroots movement of UCC congregations committed to corporately naming and boldly proclaiming a public identity as a justice-doing, peace-seeking church.
Congregation-based community organizing (CBCO) is community organizing rooted in faith bodies that come together in answer to God’s call to love our neighbors, stand with the marginalized, and work with God for a more just society.
Open and Affirming
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.
UCC Fair Trade Coffee Project
The UCC Coffee Project means that your congregation can partner with UCC Justice and Witness Ministries and Equal Exchange in building fair trade for small farming communities by serving fairly traded coffee, tea and cocoa, and chocolate, almonds, and olive oil for justice at fellowship hour on Sundays. It is a way for your congregation to join hands with farmers and communities in the developing world.
|Centers of Education and Social Transformation|
The UCC Centers for Environmental Justice at Pilgrim Firs and Silver Lake Conference Center are places where participants can come from all over the U.S. and be immersed in a justice-centered response to climate change and environmental equity.
This is the goal of the UCC Washington office is to make a better world possible by addressing the systemic problems that we face as a country and as part of the world. Hunger, poverty, peace and security, racism, care for the earth. These are among the types of justice issues that we work to improve through federal policies.
|Please note: The Daniel F. Romero Center for Border Ministries (Centro Romero) is no longer a national border immersion program of the United Church of Christ. We are in the midst of exciting conversations among an expanded list of partners to determine the design of future border justice programs. More information will follow as these plans unfold.|
BLANK FORMS - FOR CONFERENCE/ASSOCIATION USE ONLY
Beginning August 1, 2014, CARD will no longer be receiving paper forms for processing in the Data Hub. Conferences and Associations will have the ability to make all necessary changes within the Data Hub.
However, if you would like to continue utilizing these forms for your Conference or Association's own information collection purposes, we have provided blank copies of each of the forms. These blank forms are available below in PDF and Word format.
A few notes about these forms: The PDF format maintains all of the appropriate drop-down selections so that individuals can complete the form by computer and then print the completed version. We advise that these forms not be printed prior to completion since the drop-down selections on some of the forms will not be visible. Also, please note that the Word formatting will depend greatly on the version on your computer. We strongly suggest editing this form in the manner that is most helpful for you, while still maintaining consistency with the information fields in the Data Hub.
Video tutorials are available now!
Form Templates for Internal Conference/Association Use
People Update Form - This form is typically used when a person needs to be added or removed (inactivated) from your Conference/Association, or when there are any other changes to a person's information.
PDF | Word
Necrology Form - This form is typically used for deceased ministers in conjunction with the People Update Form.
Information Review Form: As part of the covenantal relationship between authorized ministers and their Association / Conference, each Commissioned, Licensed or Ordained Minister is asked to fill out an annual Information Review for the Committee on Ministry where their standing is held. The practice of providing Information Reviews to all authorized ministers on an annual basis is robust in some Associations/ Conferences but is not consistent across the life of the church. This year, CASA and MESA are jointly offering a sample Information Review Form for Committees on Ministry to use. Please send this form either physically or electronically to all authorized minsters, including those serving in specialized minstry settings. Feel free to adapt the form to the needs of your Association / Conference. Please refer to section 8 of the UCC Manual on Ministry for background on the practice of Information Reviews. Additional questions can be directed to Rev. Elizabeth Dilley, email@example.com or 216-736-3841.
Please note: the Web brower Chrome may not function properly for the forms. You may want to use Internet Explorer or Mozilla.
To download the newest version of Adobe Reader, click here.
Order your 2020Yearbook & Directory from UCC Resources today! Click here.
The United Church of Christ Yearbook and Directory provides statistics as reported by local churches and conferences of the UCC. In addition, the Yearbook serves as an organizational directory including the various offices, persons elected by the General Synod to constitute the governing boards of the Ministries and other bodies.
2020 Yearbook Reporting Information
Welcome! This page provides resources to assist you in submitting your annual church information online directly into the Data Hub. You will find helpful tip sheets and videos to assist you. Click here to access the Data Hub.
Church Yearbook Instructions
Annual Yearbook Reporting: Definitions Tip Sheet for Local Churches
(MANDATORY: Serves as a guide for entering the correct information into the UCC Data Hub for annual church reporting.)
Other UCC Giving (Guide to all giving that be included in Other UCC Giving)
Updating Church Contact Information
(If you have a new address, email, website, phone number, etc. this video is for you!)
Updating Annual Church Membership
(A guide on inputting membership additions/removals, baptisms and more.)
Updating Annual Worship Attendance
(Includes average worship attendance, Christian Education/Faith Formation, and Youth program participants)
Updating Annual Financial Data
(A walkthrough on how to update your church income, endowments and expenditures)
Updating Annual Ministerial Support Data
(Instructions for updating annual ministerial compensation)
FOR CONFERENCES ONLY
What Matters includes a variety of resources to connect your questions of faith with the deep faith expressed by the UCC. Discover what matters through reflection, stories from UCC congregations and members, stories from history, Bible study, prayer, worship, and service.
Explore on your own or with others. There are plenty of suggestions for seekers, new member classes, baptism preparation or membership groups, or pastor classes. For ideas about how use What Matters with groups, click here. Discover the questions and insights of those not familiar with the UCC in the article "What Matters to Visitors and Seekers?"
To explore one of the six vital themes, simply click a photo below.
We Are One at Baptism We Thank God by Working We Listen for the
and the Table for a Just and Loving World Still-speaking God
What Matters to You? Matters to Us - Engaging Six Vital Themes of OurFaith by Sidney D. Fowler is a new book for individual or group study based on core themes of
the United Church of Christ.
Also available is What Matters for Children and Families by Frank Proctor based on the same six vital themes.
Order both new books by calling 800-537-3394
or from United Church Resources.
Get Copies of the What Matters brochures!
You can also order colorful, engaging brochures.
Great for visitors, inquirers, as well as long-time members.
To order, call toll free, 800.537.3394.
Cost: $15.00 per bundle of 50. Order from a variety of available covers with identical inside copy:
"Find Yourself. We have GPS." #LCMCV1A
"Please Return" #LCMCV1C
"United Not Divided" #LCMCV1D
What Matters is written by Sidney D. Fowler. Designed by Duy-Khuong Van (risingflare.com)
Copyright © 2005 - 2008 Congregational Vitality in the United Church of Christ.
Financial Wellness: Congregational and Personal
Bookmark this spot!
From this page we will be acquiring and sharing information for you, from you. Help us to create a viral site where the church helps all the people during tough economic times.
Financial Literacy: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, recommended by the UCC Pension Boards offers help for all financial stages of life.
Financial Literacy: Financial Security: Managing Money in Tough Times. Learning positive money management techniques can help you and your family adapt to tough economic times.
Financial Fitness: America Saves is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups helps individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, they assist those who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement.
Support for Seniors: Benefits Check Up offed by the National Council on Aging includes more than 1,550 public and private benefits programs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Support for Homeowners: If your congregation has struggling homeowners, let them know about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's foreclosure prevention site.
Ohio State University Extension has a web-site where educational materials are available. More fact sheets about money management can be found here.
Below are some other links you may find helpful:
Job Search Tools:
(this page contains links to MANY resources)
Receipts are Up
Making Sound Strategic Choices in Anxious Times
Alban Institute Susan Beaumont and Alice Mann offer UCC pastors sound answers to tough questions.(click here)
The Church and Tough Economic Times:
What Should Congregations be Doing?
Anthony B. Robinson
The election is behind us, and the economic challenges? They continue. In fact, it seems likely that they will grow worse before they get better. In view of this, what should congregations and their leaders be doing? Get some answers here!
Religious Giving in Uncertain Times: Insights for Congregations and Faith-based Nonprofits
Prepared by The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
Keeping Faith Communities Vital in an Ailing Economy
Rising unemployment, gut-wrenching declines in the stock market and predictions of a recession worse than any since the Great Depression can spell sleepless nights for even the most faithful ministry leaders. (read full article)
From the UCC Writer's Group
Anthony B. Robinson: I Don't Deserve This!
You know what they say, "third time's the charm." But in this case, it was more curse than charm. It was the third kick that got my attention....
Lillian Daniel: God's Economy is Not a Roller Coaster
We've been riding a roller coaster in the financial world, and it has not been fun. This is not a roller coaster we stood in line for and got excited about....
Martin B. Copenhaver: Fear or Faith?
Fear in small doses can be a good thing. Fear is what told our ancestors to run from predators and spurred them on to go faster than they could have otherwise. And many of us never would have studied for math tests unless we had been motivated, in part, by fear of what would happen if we did not. So sometimes, in the short run, fear can prompt us to do the right thing....
Anthony B. Robinson: More of Everything?
"More of Everything" is the slogan for one of the big box retailers in our area. Its trucks roll by with those words emblazoned on the side: "More of Everything." Suddenly that slogan seems less like glad tidings than it does a haunting, sad chiding....
William C. Green: Looking Forward
We Americans are known for optimism and positive thinking. But now many of us are negative—and scared. Security as we've known it is being re-thought by all of us, government and citizens alike....
Donna Schaper: The Blessing of Limits
There is nothing like a good dose of reality to yield a blessing. Reality is always about limits, but in some centuries we obscure it with ideas about limitless growth and possibility....
(Click here for more tools and articles)
Stewardship Messages Online! In tough times giving can be difficult for people…even people of faith. Use these messages monthly to offer an inspiring, biblically-based reflection in your newsletter, on your bulletin board, your website, or use as an insert in your giving statement or Sunday Bulletin.
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