Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, United Church of Christ!

My denomination is now 50 years old. Here are some reasons why I love my church:

1. Some of my favorite people are UCCers--Martha, Ed, Darlene, Donna, Kathleen, Theresa, Carol M., Carol G., Jane, and so many others.
2. It was the first church to ordain openly GLBT people.
3. They aired commercials that actually depicted acceptance of all people and ruffled feathers nationwide.
4. The music is awesome.
5. You don't have to join to be involved (although I recommend joining).
6. The UCC church worked closely with Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement.
7. The UCC was the first to lead a national ministry for those with disabilities.
8. 75 percent of the time at least, the UCC church does not use a pronoun to refer to God. The other 25 percent of the time, they alternate between a male pronoun and a female pronoun.
9. The God is still speaking campaign.
10. They have an anti-war statement on their website, and you, too, can sign it.
11. In 2005, the UCC General Synod passed a resolution stating that same-sex couples should have equal marriage rights.
12. We vote on everything (and I do mean everything).
13. There is no hierarchy.
14. We get to sing the Hallalujah Chorus as a congregation every Easter as the benediction. It's incredibly joyful.
15. I feel okay wearing jeans to church.
16. My church took the lead in starting a homeless shelter where ALL are welcome in this city when the city itself turned its back. This shelter has now found a permanent home and will be open year-round. The city still has not gotten involved.
17. Our Earth Day service which actually provided practical information on how to live a life friendly to the planet and not just a service saying "My how the flowers are pretty this year."
18. We had an immigrants rights service this year.
19. We practice nonviolence.
20. We embrace other faiths and welcome learning from other faiths.
21. You don't have to believe anything in particular to fit in. You can come as you are and actually be accepted.
22. My church brings a banner to Pride and marches in the Pride Parade, then has a booth at Pride.
23. We pray for peace weekly at a special prayer service.
24. We believe that faith without action is dead.
25. We tend to gather wounded people that were shunned in other denominations and allow them a place to grow. We really do accept everybody.
26. It has become my home in what was once a strange city. I have felt nurtured and cared for there, and I like singing in the choir.

Visit a United Church of Christ near you :)

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