Stewardship is a way of life for Christians, a spiritual discipline and approach to daily living that enriches our lives at any age. For children, simple concepts can be discussed and built upon as they grow older. Stewardship education begins with the understanding that God is the source of all that exists, and then we can explore how we are part of what God has brought into being.
An introductory educational packet for children is God's Gifts, My Gifts for use in church and at home. This resource packet teaches that God is the source of who we are and what we have, and is our model for being generous and faithful. Elementary-age children will have fun in class or at home using these five colorful and snappy foldout sheets with individual and group activities, including scriptural texts and prayers to reinforce the church; personal decisions, loving God, self, and others. Use for confirmation and new member classes. Set includes five active lessons: Share Love With Your Offering (available as a single sheet for $.75 each); Seek God with Your Whole Heart; Rooted in Love; Love is the Greatest; Dare 2BU. Set of all five activity sheets plus stickers: 1-10 set, $5.00 each; 11-25 sets, $4.50 each; 26 or more sets, $4.00 each. Item #SCCRS Call United Church of Christ Resources at 800.537.3394 .
Younger children will especially like the interactive nature of Church World Service's global educational site, Build a Village. Children and teens can see how life is different for children in other parts of the world, using a site of the United Nations.
Responsible citizenship is also an important part of stewardship. Young people can learn about our democratic process at a site designed by Congress.
As children move into adolescence and the teen years, more complex questions arise about one’s place in family life and in the world. The responsibilities and joys of receiving God’s gifts are expanded to include more areas of life. Teens will benefit from the spiritual practices outlined at Way to Live, a web companion to the book by the same name, produced by the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith. You can order this book.
Adults working with teens can find interesting information about youth trends and studies at the website of the National Study of Youth and Religion. The National Study of Youth and Religion is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. The project researches the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of U.S. adolescents; identifies effective practices in the religious, moral and social formation of the lives of youth; describes the extent to which youth participate in and benefit from the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth; and fosters an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth's lives to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion.
Churches are beginning to see their ministry role in teaching financial literacy to young people. Straightforward financial knowledge and practices can be found at the Kiplinger Financial News site. To help teens start saving money, check out the website of Youth Saves.
Financial habits are stewardship practices, and these sites will help families to consider their choices about spending, shopping, television use, and other decisions influenced by the media and advertisers:
Parents and church leaders will find all sorts of information and ideas for programs and activities at the website of the Youth and Family Institute.
Making Our Churches Safe for All, is a guide to help your church design policies and procedures to help prevent abuse of children. Additional resources are recommended in this guidebook, which can also be ordered in glossy, printed form from the UCC Insurance Board.
The web page of the UCC's Parish Life and Leadership is also filled with resources to support the creation of your congregation's safe-church policy. Contact your own church's insurance carrier if you do not carry insurance through the UCC Insurance Board.
One way to help protect children and youth from child abuse is to provide the ministry of human sexuality education in your congregation.
Your congregation can find further resources to help prevent child abuse and neglect at the Faith Trust Institute. Abuse prevention resources include a Teen Dating curriculum, "Love: All That and More."
Ministry Issues: Forming and Preparing Pastoral Leaders for God's Church.
The Ministry Issues Pronouncement approved by General Synod 25 in 2005 seeks to address the needs of the UCC for well prepared and faithful ministerial leadership for God's mission in the world both now and in the future. In order to have such well prepared leaders who are able to engage with a geographically and economically diverse, multicultural, multiracial church, it is necessary:
· to expand our definition of learnedness and leadership
· to provide multiple means for persons to be formed and prepared for authorized ministry in the UCC
In order to do this, we must pay attention to:
· our theologies of ministry
· our understanding and practice of licensed ministry
· how we engage in deep and authentic discernment of both call and gifts for ministry
· how we help form leaders with an abiding identity and affinity with the UCC
Ministry Issues Draft 3.1, from the Ministry Issues Implementation Committee in 2009, offers an in-depth exploration of the work and conversations since General Synod 25, including the shift to "Member in Discernment" language and the "Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers."
The following materials help Committees on Ministry explore Draft 3.1; they are designed as workshops that take about two hours, or as pieces to be read by committee members in advance of their work with Members in Discernment.
- Assessing Knowledge and Skills
- Local Churches
- Ministry of COMs
- Personal and Professional Formation
- Regional Programs
- Seminary Programs
Using the Marks
The November 2010 Background Document offers a closer reflection upon the covenants of authorized ministry, in conversation with the Marks. This background document may be helpful in discussing constitutional changes and new understandings fo proposed language. Additionally useful background material includes the 1996 lecture by Clyde J. Steckel; Steckel asserts that Committees on Ministry are the innovators of polity and ecclesiology in the UCC as authorized ministry and denominational ways-of-being shift in ways not imagined by our founders.
Information relating to the practice of Christian Education in the United Church of Christ
Professional Development for UCC Educators
Below are reflections from prior years. Explore other worship and liturgical resources to accompany these texts.
Lectionary based reflections and sermon seeds
Searching our Hearts and our Cultural Values (2016 reflection) Year C, Proper 18: Philemon 1:1-22
Workers: Made in the Image of God Year C, Proper 18: Jeremiah 18:1-11
Seeing Clearly Year B, Proper 18: Isaiah 35:4-7a; James 2:1-10,14-17 and Mark 7:24-37
God's Call to End Oppression Year A, Proper 17: Exodus 3:1-15 and Romans 12:9-21
Interrupted by God Year A, Proper 17: Exodus 3:1-15 and Romans 12:9-21
"Let Us Be Doers, Not Merely Hearers" of Jesus' Word Year B, Proper 17: James 1:17-27
Seeing Truly Year B, Proper 18: James 2:1-10, 14-17; and Mark 7:24-37
Hosting the Poor and Marginalized Year C, Proper 17: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Non-lectionary based reflections and sermon seeds
A Fair Balance, based on 2 Corinthians 8:1-4, 13-15, descibes Paul's collection for the poor in Jerusalem as a window into discussing inequality today.
The Landowner and His Workers is based on Matthew 20: 1-16, the vineyard owner and his laborers
Jesus Was a Low-Wage Worker takes Luke 6:20 as its text: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
Acts of Kindness and Working for Justice is based on Micah 6:8: "God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
That They All May Be One - Solidarity Forever draws on Isaiah's vision of a new heaven and new earth (65:17-23) and John 17:21: "that they may all be one."
Statement of Faith
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father, and to his deeds we testify:
He calls the worlds into being, creates man in his own image and sets before him the ways of life and death.
He seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
He judges men and nations by his righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,he has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to himself.
He bestows upon us his Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
He calls us into his church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be his servants in the service of men, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
He promises to all who trust him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, his presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in his kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto him.
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:
God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.
God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord,God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.
God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table,to join him in his passion and victory.
God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace,the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
Creemos en Dios, el Espíritu Eterno, Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo y nuestro Creador; y de sus obras testificamos:
Dios llama los mundos para que existan, creó al ser humano a su imagen y semejanza, y puso ante la humanidad los caminos de la vida y la muerte.
Busca en su santo amor salvar a todas las personas de su desorientación y pecado.
Dios juzga al ser humano y a las naciones por medio de su justa voluntad declarada a través de los profetas y los apóstoles.
En Jesucristo, el hombre de Nazaret, nuestro Señor crucificado y resucitado, Dios ha venido y ha compartido nuestra suerte, venció el pecado y la muerte y reconcilió al mundo para sí mismo.
Dios nos concedió el Espíritu Santo, que crea y renueva la iglesia de Jesucristo y une en un pacto de fidelidad a personas de todas las edades, idiomas y razas.
Dios nos llama como iglesia para que aceptemos el costo y la alegría del discipulado, para que seamos sus servidores al servicio del ser humano, para proclamar el evangelio a todo el mundo y resistir los poderes del maligno, para compartir el bautismo de Cristo, comer en su mesa, y unirnos a Jesús en su pasión y victoria.
Dios promete a toda persona que confía en Jesús el perdón de los pecados y la plenitud de su gracia, valor en la lucha por la justicia y la paz, su presencia en las tristezas y en las alegrías, y vida eterna en su reino que no tiene fin.
Bendición y honor, gloria y poder sean dados a Dios.
About this testimony
The original (traditional) version of the UCC Statement of Faith was adopted in 1959 by General Synod and is widely regarded as one of the most significant Christian faith testimonies of the 20th century. The Statement of Faith in the Form of a Doxology was authorized by Executive Council in 1981. For these and other affirmations of the Christian faith, see the Book of Worship of United Church of Christ and The New Century Hymnal. Both resources are available from United Church Resources at 800-325-7061, or can be ordered from The Pilgrim Press at www.ThePilgrimPress.com
What We Believe
We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.' No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized – and we promise that we won't take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ's table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. "That they may all be one." (John 17:21) "In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity," These UCC mottos survive because they touch core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, love and unity in the midst of our diversity are our greatest assets.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'
We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church. As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted.
We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear ... for after all, God is still speaking, ...
10. What if church is like spinach ...?
You know, like something that you hated as a kid but you love as an adult because you eat it in ways that suit you much better. Guess what? A lot of people are having the same sort of experience with church . . . In the UCC, things are often quite different and worth checking out.
UCC churches tend to tailor themselves to fit the people they feel called to serve in their local community. The result: A wide variety of musical traditions, expressions and values that have integrity and purpose. From conservative to liberal, we're not short on variety.
8. No apologies...
You are what you are...and so are we – we like ourselves just fine. Find a church where you will fit in, be nurtured and challenged to grow.
7. No waiting...
You don't have to join to be active in many UCC churches. If you want to get involved, many of our churches will find a place to help fulfill your need to give – whether or not you decide to join.
6. No boxes
God can blow the lid off any box, unfold it and turn it into a dance floor. We tend to be the "out of the box" people. Among our many firsts, we were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery (1700), the first to ordain an African American person (1785), the first to ordain a woman (1853), the first in foreign missions (1810), and the first to ordain openly gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons (1972). We value education for all people. We founded Harvard and Yale, as well as many historically black colleges, six of which remain affiliated with the UCC to this day.
5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All
When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back – no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that baptism places each of us into the "body of Christ" and lasts forever. Some are baptized as infants, others as adults. Some are sprinkled. Others are immersed. Some reclaim their baptism from a previous church life. For each of us, however, baptism is big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone – old, young, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "you're a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."
4. Good News People
We believe that No. 5 is good news!
3. "Party" Church
God is having a party and we are all invited. At God's party our spiritual hungering is fed and our thirsting is satisfied. At God's party we get strength, stamina and community support that helps us through the tough times that come to everyone. Feeding our spiritual hunger helps reduce those, "I can't believe I'm so stupid" moments – but we'll never eliminate them all. That's why we need friends and companions and not judges (no offense to judges) for the journey.
2. Spiritual Guidance...
It's not about commandments. It's about relationships – even with God. The most important relationship is our relationship with God. Second most important is our relationships with the rest of the human family. In balance, these relationships produce justice amid injustice, kindness in the face of meanness, and the humility of self acceptance that comes as we sense the presence of a God who knows our inmost thoughts and loves us uncontrollably – just as we are. Spiritual journeys can be like the exercise equipment we buy and leave under the bed. Without coaches and workout partners, most of us don't stick with it. We're the "Journeys Wanted" people . . . bring yours.
1. We're waiting for you.
Instructions for customizing Posters
Personalizing the posters is easy! You’ll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader, free on the web.
Open the poster you want to use and click anywhere in the text box in the lower left hand corner. Delete any information already there and replace it with your Church’s name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and website address. These files can't be saved after you make your changes but they CAN be printed! So, if you take it to your favorite printer, the customizations are simple and easy! But you'll have to add the changes everytime you print a new batch.
It’s that easy!
1. Honor thy Mother | Customizeable version
2. Here's to Mom | Customizeable version
3. WOW | Customizeable version
4. We only accept sinners | Customizeable version
5. Shelter for the spiritually homeless | Customizeable version
6. Do you know every word, but none of the meaning? | Customizeable version
7. Do you know every word, but none of the meaning? v2 | Customizeable version
8. Please return. No questions asked. | Customizeable version
9. Jesus wandered alone for 40 days. How long have you? | Customizeable version
10. Religious freedom doesn't have to be an oxymoron | Customizeable version
11. Turn your other cheek, not your back | Customizeable version
12. Red state, blue state or joyous state? | Customizeable version
13. If you think getting up Sunday mornings is hard, try rising from the dead.
14. Our faith is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not.
Order customized Printed materials online or call 877-437-2212 for Customer Service
If you want to customize an item not listed here, check with Pam DeMarce at email@example.com or 507-381-4279.
(Our vendors generally tithe to Stillspeaking)
Placing Your Commercials on Cable Television
You'll need a broadcast-quality beta copy of any of our TV ads to show on your local stations. Find out about why, how, cost, timing, and customization options. Place your order at The Stillspeaking Store. Along with your beta tape, you also will receive a VHS copy of the ad. Review the VHS tape for accuracy.
Ordering online will speed the preparation of your order. Be sure to fill in both the Customization / Shipping section and the payment section of the form. We'll keep you informed of the status of your order by email.
If you need assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 216.736.2188.
(If you are looking at a paper form from our Training Manual, please give the online system a try before you FAX us. If you do FAX, please substitute this form for yours, and FAX to 216.736.2103.