The United Church of Christ is a church of firsts and extravagant welcome
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With more than 5,100 churches and 1.1 million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.
Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities. The UCC’s many “firsts” mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. When we read in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.
Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways. We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive. We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, and where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.
UCC churches, like Hammond Street Congregation Church, have a “bottom up” structure. The congregation calls its pastor and the work of the church is done in small committees made up of members and regularly attending non-members. Their decisions are either implemented or submitted to the Church Council for review and approval. The pastor serves as ex officio member and participates as others in the decision making process. We meet each year for the Annual Meeting to pass a budget and accept nominees to fill the various committees.
We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.