So what exactly do you all believe?
While every church is different, and every person in every church is different, here is a general statement of beliefs for the United Church of Christ (UCC), the network of churches to which we belong. We don’t use this as some kind of litmus test for faith, but rather as a guideline for the basic tenets that make us who we are as we seek to mature in the faith.
We believe in the triune God: God the Creator, the resurrected Christ, and the Holy Spirit who guides and brings about the creative, redemptive, and healing work of God in the world today.
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 known, 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 along that path.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God — engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving one’s life meaning, purpose, and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized belong to God. No matter who, what, or where we are on life’s journey through life we all belong to God and to the 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 those being baptized. This is a 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 gather 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 the fruit of the vine, we – the many people of God – are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of the cup reminds us of the costliness of Christ’s sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. We remember and celebrate Christ’s presence among us along with a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ – our ancestors, family, and friends who have gone on before us. It is a great mystery; we simply claim it by faith.
We believe that the United Church of Christ (UCC) is called to be a ‘united and uniting’ church. Jesus’ prayer was, ‘That they may all be one.’ In the history of our denomination we have agreed, ‘In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity.’ These three mottos represent the core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or hierarchical structures. Our overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological training, interpretation of the scriptures and traditions, and peace 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. We often says, ‘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 non-violent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of defiant hope and possibility. In the UCC, our members, congregations, and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear since we believe that God is still speaking . . .
So, if this resonates with you, then we invite you to come meet up with others who share these values and beliefs and who are striving to make God’s love and justice real in the world.