What Do We Believe and Do?
The UCC has roots in the “covenantal” tradition—meaning there is no centralized authority or hierarchy that can impose any doctrine or form of worship on its members. Christ alone is Head of the church. We seek a balance between freedom of conscience and accountability to the faith. The UCC therefore receives the historic creeds and confessions of our ancestors as testimonies, but not tests of the faith. The UCC website has a long list of faith statements that express our ancestors and our ways of saying who we are and what we believe.
So what does this mean for our daily life? There are several points we can make:
- We trust that God has a home and a heart for all people, whether they fit the traditional confines of “mainline protestant Christian” or whether they are full of questions.
- We pay attention. We listen for God’s word in Holy Scripture, in our rich tradition, in faithful witness in everyday life, and in the fresh winds of the Holy Spirit. God does have more truth and light yet to break forth from God’s holy word. We listen for God’s word in worship and in study, in prayer and in action.
- We give thanks. We are grateful for the many gifts that God has given God’s creation and we aim to take care of those gifts. We consciously strive to see and hear God’s word in our daily lives.
- We welcome all people. By God’s grace, we work to be an inclusive church. We commit ourselves to be a church for all people and following the teachings of Jesus Christ, we celebrate, affirm, and embrace the rich diversity of God’s good creation.
- We take care of each other. When we see a need, we try to fill it. We define “each other” very broadly. We seek to bring both justice and comfort to those in our community who are mistreated, ill-used and suffering. We work to make the gifts of God available to all the world.
- We speak up when we see injustice, when political and social conditions crush the human spirit. We believe that God wants us to respond to God’s call so that all may be free.
- We have questions. We realize that our understanding of God and God’s will for us is only partial. We are committed to ecumenical and interfaith cooperation and understanding. We realize that there are many paths to the Divine, and we trust in the integrity of many traditions.
- We are not afraid. We try new things, we reach out to new people, we explore new ideas. We trust that God wants us to be open and affirming of all people. We trust that new things can happen when we are willing to listen to and respond to God’s call.