United Church of Christ
We are St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – often abbreviated as St. Paul’s UCC. The first part of our name is, not surprisingly, a reference to the apostle Paul, who was one of the greatest missionaries of the Christian faith. But what exactly is the UCC part? What does United Church of Christ mean?
What if the thousands of UCC congregations could speak there stories of faith to tell you what the UCC is and what it is about? If it were possible for them all to speak there stories at the same time, what you are likely to hear in the diverse chorus of their voices is something along the lines of…
“I might be young or maybe even approaching middle age, but my roots go back over 2000 years to the very first followers of Jesus. At the same time I am very much so here and now, ever aware of the present realities found in life.
My personality is one that embraces the richness of tradition and the blessings of modern thought. My struggles and my heart center around the issues of acceptance, inclusiveness, justice, and hope-filled living through Jesus Christ. My open-armed approach to faith is appealing to people of different races and lifestyles and creeds, which explains why my congregations, and the people who worship within them, are so diverse and unique.
In my living, I practice compassion above judgment and grace above ridicule. In me people are freed to search and seek and be found by the living God of all creation. Within me people flourish through their questions and challenges as they seek an authentic faith that comes through prayerful exploration.
In the end, I seek to reflect the personality of Christ: open, embracing, nurturing, and eternally relevant as I direct people’s lives to God, while sharing God’s grace with my own.”
The motto of the United Church of Christ, “That they may all be one,” centers us in who we are and why we are. Coming from Jesus’ prayer as recorded in John 17:21, this motto reflects the UCC’s commitment to unity within diversity.
“That they may all be one” set the foundation for the creation of the UCC. In 1957, the Congregational Christian Church (formerly the Congregational Church and the Christian Church) and the Evangelical & Reformed Church (formerly the Reformed Church and the Evangelical Church) chose to unite themselves under the one body of Christ. With the richness of their diversity they sought to declare that Jesus Christ is the sole and only head of the church, and that in Christ we are one.
Today this motto is still being lived out in the diversity of our current world. The United Church of Christ now numbers over 6000 congregations, approaching two million disciples striving to make this faith real in our everyday lives. Inspired by the work of the four original denominations, the UCC continues a commitment to issues of peace, justice, and the unity of Christ’s Body. The UCC’s outreach is inclusive, holding out to all these words of hope: “No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!”
The national site of the United Church of Christ has a wealth of more information as well as our regional setting of the church, which is called the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. Each site contains information on both the past and present work of the UCC, along with a variety of faith resources for individuals and churches.
United Church of Christ Statement of Faith
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit,
God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God,
and to your deeds we testify.
You call the worlds into being,
create persons in your own image,
and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will
declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior,
you come to us and shared our common lot,
conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestowed upon us your Holy Spirit,
creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ,
binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church
to accept the cost and joy of discipleship,
to be your servants in the service to others,
to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,
to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table,
to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you
forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace,
courage in the struggle for justice and peace,
your presence in trial and rejoicing,
and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.