The U…C…What?! For those not familiar with us, it can be a little confusing!:
“Oh, yeah…You’re Unity, right?” Nope. We share their focus on community, positivity, and education, but that’s not us.
“So, then, you’re the Unitarians?” Nuh uh. We share their value of other religions and spiritual paths, but that’s not us.
We are the United Church of Christ.
“Wait! You mean the ones who don’t use music instruments or allow women to preach?” Nope. While we love our conservative brothers and sisters (and man, can they sing!), we are waaaaayyy on the other end of the political and theological spectrum.
The United Church (pause here) of Christ, is a Protestant (like Methodists and Lutherans) denomination that began when 4 denominations united in 1957. There are tons of us in the Midwest, Northeast, West Coast, Hawaii (yes, please!), and we’re growing in the South.
We’re about as far left as you can go and still be considered Christian. Our Unitarian friends affectionately joke the UCC stands for “Unitarians Considering Christ” because we are similar, just with a much heavier emphasis on Jesus (as Trinitarians, we’re big fans of the Holy Spirit, too!)
The UCC is a mainstream Christian denomination with deep roots in social justice, peace movements, activism, and support for the environment. Our ancestors were educators, abolitionists, civil rights and healthcare advocates, and folks of radical love and extravagant welcome.
We ordained the first openly gay man in 1972, voted to affirm full rights and participation in the Church and society for transgender persons in 2003, and became the first mainline Christian denomination to support equal marriage rights for all in 2005.
We’re relatively light on dogma; extremely light on judgment (we try hard never to be but, hey, we’re human); and heavy on standing with people Jesus hung out with—those cast to the margins by society, those treated as any way less than, and those oppressed (like Dr. King, we even try to love the gremlins in our own and others’ hearts that lead us to oppress others).
We often say, “Jesus didn’t turn anyone away, and neither do we.” Micah 6:8—seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God—sums up what we seek to do, pretty well. We’re imperfect, ever-growing, and try to have a hella lotta fun together along the way. So, come hang out awhile, let us love on ya, and see if maybe we, and the UCC, are for you.
Peace, Pastor Carla