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Thursday, September 25th, 2008
4:27 pm - Interesting UCC News article

mylifemyfaith
John Thomas, our General Minister, has declined to meet with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad In short his reasons were that meeting with a notorious holocaust-denier would set back Jewish-Christian relations, and that a duologue between religious leaders on one side and a political leader on the other would do nothing but give Iran a propaganda photo. Does everyone think our General Minister made the right call?

John Thomas also noted that the World Council of Churches got involved in this meeting against his advice... was this a helpful thing to point out or should he have kept that factoid private?

(1 comment | comment on this)

Saturday, September 6th, 2008
12:07 pm - Tell me about your church

seattlejo
I'm often curious about other congregations and want to ask people, "tell me about your church" .  I think it would  be nice to have an "elevator speech" about my church and faith. Nothing  that is pressuring, but illustrative.

Can any of you tell me about your church in a 30 second blurb?   I must admit, I have difficulty talking about my church/faith in groups because I don't want to seem pushy. The Pacific NW is pretty unchurched, There seems to be a common view of christians that is negative and fairly narrow, and at the forefront of that belief is that we are pushy . I'd like to be able to share with folks in a positive manner that  leaves us both comfortable.
Suggestions?

current mood: cheerful

(1 comment | comment on this)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
11:15 pm

mylifemyfaith
Here's an English Congregationalist's critique of Anglicanism.

I found it quite helpful.

(comment on this)

Friday, August 15th, 2008
2:06 pm - The Hidelberg Chatechism

mylifemyfaith
When I was having conversations with my pastor to prepare for joining the UCC, he mentioned several historic statements of faith that informed but did not direct the life of the UCC and its values today.

Chief among these testimonies for the life of Zion UCC, a former Reformed and then an Evangelical and Reformed Church was the Heidelberg Catechism. Having ordered the new Pilgrim Press edition of the HC from Amazon.com, I find that it speaks clearly and beautifully about the sovereignty and love of God throughout the ages. It is in this sense of roots, back to the Reformation and beyond, that I find the most appealing difference between the UCC and the UMC.

What does the rest of this community think about the Heidelberg Catechism and the Reformation and pre-reformation roots of the UCC?

(2 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
6:22 pm - Discerning A Denominational Home

mylifemyfaith
I am currently a member of a UCC church. I left the Methodist church because I knew that I am not straight, which makes it impossible for me to be ordained in the UMC. However, my preference for weekly communion and a clear ecclesiastical hierarchy are making me reconsider.

Is there anyone else who has had to discern which denomination they were being called to?

Edit: My number one possibility for an alternative home to the UCC is the Episcopal Church. I am also drawn to the ELCA.

Son of Edit: Likes and dislikes about the UCC
Read more...Collapse )

Final Edit: I'm staying in the UCC for the foreseeable future. Gos planted me at Zion UCC for a reason, and there I will stay. Thanks to everyone in this community who provided helpful comments. :D

(5 comments | comment on this)

Friday, July 25th, 2008
7:22 pm - The connection we make

seattlejo
I've recently begun going to church again after some household changes. Part of the household change puts me a bus ride from 2 different UCC congregations.  Its easy to go to either, and they are very different congregations. So I find myself in a delima and would love some feedback

Church 1
This is the one I am officially member of. It  was a block from my old house. It is a very small congregation, at any service I'll find maybe 15-30 people total. This is an aging population as well, with the majority of the group in the retirement age range. There are a handful of younger families. The weekly service is the main congregational activity. I've heard tell of a women's group, but never been invited, the impression I've gotten is t that it is during the weekday (a time that work/school really dont allow me to attend )

But there is a great connection. With only 30 people at church on a regular basis you are recongized and welcomed. You notice who is there and who is not. Upon my return I've gotten lots of welcome and some concerned  question, but again, there is a real connection.

Church 2
Church 2 is now  a bus ride away versus 2 buses. It is much larger. I would estimate that there are about 150 or so people at service each week. This is a vibrant group with people of all ages represented. There is enough of a congregation that they are able to support other activities. (a LGBTQ group, A parents group, choirs, a Taize service) I look at the congregation and see people who look like me.  This church also very much reminds me of the church from my youth. 

So far, I've been anonymous there . I've visited a couple of times, but find that I've not made a personal connection at all. I come and go and well, dont find that there is a convienent way to say "Hey I'm new". It's intimidating.

See the problem?  I  feel like I have a responsibility to the community at Church 1. And I do. On the other hand I  feel much more of a draw to Church 2. I want  there to be options of  womens groups, parent groups, LGBTQ groups.  But I want the connection the first church offers as well. I also know with an aging population church 1 needs the people support.  It's just a hard place to be in. So far I've decided that I'll attend each every other week and see where it goes from there. Any advice?

(8 comments | comment on this)

Monday, July 7th, 2008
9:12 pm

ocean_state
Hello, ucc_peeps!

I've been attending a UCC church for about two years now and have been a member almost as long. I've been "Christian-friendly" for a long time, but it was within the UCC that I actually converted. :) I just joined this LiveJournal community on a whim, because I would like to have more Christ-centered dialog in my life.

My question is: Do any of you have a favorite web site or blog that offers daily (or near daily) devotionals and Scripture interpretations, stuff like that? I figure I love keeping up with my web comics, why not some Christian stuff too?

(5 comments | comment on this)

Friday, December 21st, 2007
7:33 pm

lotsofhope
I wasn't raised in a church, but had in interest in the idea of church.

A few years ago I was introduced to the Mormon church and was baptized soon after contacting missionaries. I met a lot of great people, but never felt 100% comfortable. There are a lot of things that I just don't agree with anymore... I was always afraid that I would do something or say something that was "wrong". Plus I have very limited understanding of the bible and I don't feel like I walked away with anymore knowledge of it when I started... And there's some other reasons I feel like I just don't belong. So I've been half heartedly soul searching trying to figure out where my beliefs stand, and what church embraces these beliefs.

I came across the UCC through my World Religions class. We were given an assignment to write about a church in the valley. There was one particular church that I drive by everyday and wanted to know more about. It happened to be a UCC church. While doing research for my paper I found that the UCC embraces so many of the beliefs that I have. It sounds like something I could really get into. I did some research and found one close to me that looks interesting. I'm excited about trying it out. :o)

I have a few questions though.

If I wanted to join the church, as a full member, would I have to resign from the LDS church, or does baptism transfer over in some way? Would I need to be re-baptized?

Does dress very from church to church? I don't want to over/under dress my first time.

Are there a fair amount of Young Single Adults involved in the church? I know that it varies from church to church, but I guess I'm just interested if the church you attend has Single Adults. I'd really like to meet people my own age who share the same belief system. I work as a Nanny and I mostly go to school on-line so its really hard to meet people my own age.

Does anyone live in Phoenix, by chance? :o)

I'm sure I'll think of a ton more questions later, but thanks in advance for answering these ones.

(5 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
5:17 pm - The UCC is Calling for An End to the Iraq War

changinglight
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is calling for an end to the Iraq War.  If you have not already read and signed the petition to call for an end to war and violence, please do!  We're hoping to collect 10,000 signatures by October 7th. 
If you'd like a copy of this banner, you can find the link at http://ga3.org/ucc/100kactionkit.

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Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
11:13 pm

emilybeingemily
Hi everyone, I'm Emily and I've been doing a lot of research on different churches and the UCC's beliefs are the ones that seem closest to mine because of how liberal I am. I was thinking about going to a local UCC church on Sunday and was hoping to get some information about services and any other useful information from church members. Thanks!

(4 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, May 10th, 2007
4:25 pm

changinglight

I'm working with a team from the Mass Conference of the United Church of Christ on a survey/workshop effort to learn about "young adults" and their experiences with church/religion/spirituality.  We're trying to gather survey results from as many people as possible in the age range of 18-40.  Denominational background and geographic location are not important.  If you can, please fill out and disseminate this survey as widely as possible.  The results of the survey will be used to create a workshop by young adults to present to congregational leaders in the Mass Conference at our annual meeting in September.  All of the information in the survey will be kept anonymous, and results of the survey will be available by emailing lofrumentok@macucc.org. 

 The survey can be found here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=719723571730

 

This request is cross-posted. 

 

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Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
4:58 pm - Rev. Jeremiah Wright writes

kynn

The minister of Barack Obama's UCC church is pissed at the NY Times.

Thank you for engaging in one of the biggest misrepresentations of the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five years. You sat and shared with me for two hours. You told me you were doing a “Spiritual Biography” of Senator Barack Obama. For two hours, I shared with you how I thought he was the most principled individual in public service that I have ever met. [...]

As I was just starting to say a moment ago, Jodi, out of two hours of conversation I spent approximately five to seven minutes on Barack’s taking advice from one of his trusted campaign people and deeming it unwise to make me the media spotlight on the day of his announcing his candidacy for the Presidency and what do you print? You and your editor proceeded to present to the general public a snippet, a printed “sound byte” and a titillating and tantalizing article about his disinviting me to the Invocation on the day of his announcing his candidacy.

I have never been exposed to that kind of duplicitous behavior before, and I want to write you publicly to let you know that I do not approve of it and will not be party to any further smearing of the name, the reputation, the integrity or the character of perhaps this nation’s first (and maybe even only) honest candidate offering himself for public service as the person to occupy the Oval Office.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, March 1st, 2007
4:48 pm - Obama's UCC under attack

kynn

The right-wing Republicans are attacking Barack Obama's religion; he attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

[Sean Hannity:] However, new information has recently come to light regarding the Trinity Unity [sic] Church in Chicago. That's the one that Senator Barack Obama calls home. Trinity Church's congregation subscribes to a 10-point list, which they refer to as, quote, "Afrocentric." Now, a closer look at the church's vision has led many to call them separatist and, in some cases, even drawing comparisons to a cult.

[...]

[Black conservative columnist Eric Rush:] I would go beyond saying that they're Afrocentric. They're African-centric. They refer to themselves as an African people, and that somewhat disturbs me from the viewpoint of, well, do they consider themselves Americans? Do they consider themselves Christians? Are they worshipping Christ? Are they worshipping African things black? Well, I mean, what is it?

(8 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, October 1st, 2006
11:01 pm - Book Club

blessed_harlot
A few of us have just started a small book club - seekersmystics. Our first book is Carol Lee Flinders' Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics. The discussion has only just started, and it promises to be a delicious book! Anyone interested in reading and talking with us is welcome to join.

Crossposted to faith_feminists and ucc_peeps

(comment on this)

Thursday, September 28th, 2006
8:50 am

croses
I was thinking about selling prayer beads for our Habitat for Humanity fundraising. Are their any types of prayer beads that have special meaning for our special group? I've been thinking about the Pearls of Life, a bracelet used for meditation. It seems to be in-line with the UCC beliefs, especially personalizing your religious journey.

I was looking at this:
http://www.wreathoflife.com/pearl.asp?page=2&id=5

Or for those who hate links like I do:

The Pearls of Life:
The Pearls of Life is a prayer bead for the modern pilgrim setting out on the most difficult of journeys
– the inner one. It is an aid to focus prayer and meditation. It was created by the Swedish Bishop Emeritus Martin Lönnebo. These pages tell the story about the Pearls of Life and offer inspiration on how to use it. The pages are meant as a starting point. It is by using the pearls they become yours.

The golden, largest pearl is to remind us that we are not alone. Someone is with us, supporting us, accepting us, loving us.

The six oblong pearls are for silence. For shutting out that which distracts. As we move closer to eternity, words are no longer necessary.

The small, shimmering, white pearl is about turning inward. It urges us to open up our innermost room. To remember that we are created in God's image.

The white pearl calls us to forget the strains of life and start anew. It holds the promise of love and forgiveness. It tells us: It is never too late...

The sand-colored pearl holds hardship and difficulties. Times of deprivation force us to focus on what is essential. They sharpen our perspective.

The pearl is blue like water and sky. It is a place where faith and courage grow. Here, we are truly human beings, not human doings.

It takes two to love and the pearls of love are two, one for being loved, the other for loving others.

Three small white beads hold the inner secrets of the heart. The things we do not talk to anyone about, or the things we don’t have words for.

The black pearl stands for darkness, doubt and anxiety. For emptiness and loss of meaning. God is not absent, it only seems that way in the dark.

The white bead holds the story of good triumphing over bad. Daybreak after night. It contains the hope and faith that conquer all

current mood: artistic

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, July 31st, 2006
4:42 pm

croses
I'm really going to put this message board to good use...

Long story long:

My sister and I have been attending our UCC our whole lives, but we found out last year that we're not officially members! Our hearts are already there, but if we want to serve on a board, we have to be members. My sister has become more involved and the pastor thought she should become an official member. (I have moved away, but am home once a month.) He is very easy going and becoming a member is a simple process - just one meeting and a little recongnition in church. The pastor didn't want her to feel uneasy standing up there herself, so I offered to join her, as did my husband. We are actually going to stand up in front of the church and "become a member" before we have our meeting with him, due to scheduling conflicts.

I talked to the pastor on the phone today, and he was updating mine and my husband's information. He asked if/when/where my husband was baptized, because they keep records on that. I told him that he was baptized, and that I thought it was in an Anglican church. Well, you know what they say what happens when you "assume"...


Long story short:

I just found out that my husband wasn't baptized! I'm shocked!
Do you have to be baptized to become a member?
Does adult baptism entail anything different?
What is the UCC view on baptism or not being baptized?
I understand every church is different, but I have to confess my mistake to the pastor, and I want to have some ideas of what to expect! Yikes!

current mood: confused

(7 comments | comment on this)

Friday, July 28th, 2006
4:04 pm - Just found you!

schohn
I just found this community today. I am a member of United Church of Chapel Hill in NC, a fabulous ONA community that made me feel welcome my first day there and where I have maintained my membership despite being posted overseas with my job. Since there are no UCC churches here, I am glad to have found your community.

current mood: happy

(4 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
10:36 pm

sparklz17
Anyone planning on going to the 2007 General Synod? If so, any interesting ways to raise money to go?

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, May 1st, 2006
6:15 pm - Colorado UCC

blissedmistake
any one here from colorado?


has any one been part of a conservative UCC church? The UCC church I grew up in was liberal compared to the other churches in the area but conservative in comparison to a lot of other UCC churches. That church also has problems with the board members wanting to fire the minister as soon as they do something do like. Anyone else experience this in their church that they've attended?

(6 comments | comment on this)

Monday, April 24th, 2006
4:49 pm - ONA question

changinglight
I was wondering if people would be willing to share their stories, good, messy, and all steps in between of adopting ONA agreements.

(5 comments | comment on this)

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