United Church of Christ clergy and lay members from diverse traditions and backgrounds, plus two ecumenical partners, have been named to gather in March 2020 to start years of work on writing a UCC Manual on Church.Read more
We're intimately connected, one to the other, and God is the energetic thread of love that binds us together.Read more
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 the ministries are impacting their local communities in alignment with the Vision, Mission, and Purpose of the UCC.
For more information about previous years’ grantees, and information about process, please see the following special reports:
New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches Grant Report for 2018 Awardees: Innovation and Inspiration: What’s New in the UCC?!
New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches Grant Report for 2019 Awardees: https://www.ucc.org/meetingmeasuring
Apply for a Grant: Application Coming!
Due to the globally impact of COVID-19, Justice and Local Church Ministry of the United Church of Christ has postponed opening the 2021 New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches Grant application.
Please stay tuned, the application is scheduled to open on the First Friday in September of 2021.
When you begin the application, we recommend that you answer first in a word document and copy and paste your questions into the application above.
For your convenience, a document with the short answer questions is available for download, here.
Please note: Only applications completed in SmarterSelect will be considered.
DETAILS AND 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.
References MUST be in before you can "submit" the application. It is recommended that applicants contact references early on in the process so as to meet the deadline of the first Friday of September
The New and Renewing Grants can be matching UP TO $40,000; or UP TO $20,000, non-matching; for the calendar year of 2020. Each community and/or applicant is eligible for up to $100,000 grant lifetime, from this program.
If awarded, it is understood that grant recipients will also have ongoing coaching support throughout the term of the grant.
In 2018, we arranged the following (recorded) webinars for potential grantees to help structure their applications:
"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
The Manual on Church: Perspectives and Procedures for Association and Local Church Covenantal Partners explores the covenantal relationships between local congregations and Associations/Conferences acting as Associations. MOC is to be used by and with Committees on the Ministry, Association and Conference staff, and local church members to foster dialogue and increased understanding of what it means to walk together in all God's ways as expressions of the church.
The Church Shaped by Covenant
Autonomy and Oversight in Covenantal Relationships
Expectations of Associations in Covenant with Local Churches
Expectations of Local Churches in Covenant with Associations
Entering into Covenant
A Chart Summarizing the Procedure for Entering into Covenant
Dissolution of Covenantal Partnership
Characteristics of Faithful Covenantal Relationships
Glossary of Terms