Congregational Connections : Uniting Six Generations in the Church

Intercessory Prayer across Generations: A Case Study
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Only one conference has ever withdrawn completely from the denomination: Puerto Rico , expressing disapproval of national UCC tolerance of homosexuality as well as that of a large number of mainland congregations , departed the denomination in , taking all of its churches.

Congregational Connections: Uniting Six Generations in the Church

The denomination's churchwide deliberative body is the General Synod , which meets every two years. The General Synod consists of delegates elected from the Conferences distributed proportionally by conference size together with the members of the United Church of Christ Board see below , the officers of the denomination, and representatives of so-called "Historically Underrepresented Groups", such as the disabled, young adults, racial minorities, and gay and lesbian persons.

While General Synod provides the most visible voice of the "stance of the denomination" on any particular issue, the covenantal polity of the denomination means that General Synod speaks to local churches, associations, and conferences, but not for them. Thus, the other settings of the church are allowed to hold differing views and practices on all non-constitutional matters. As agents of the General Synod, the denomination maintains national offices comprising four "covenanted ministries", one "associated ministry", and one "affiliated ministry".

The current system of national governance was adopted in as a restructure of the national setting, consolidating numerous agencies, boards, and "instrumentalities" that the UCC, in the main, had inherited from the Congregational Christian Churches at the time of merger, along with several created during the denomination's earlier years.

These structures carry out the work of the General Synod and support the local churches, associations, and conferences. The head executives of these ministries comprise the five member Collegium of Officers , which are the non-hierarchical official officers of the denomination. The Office of General Ministries is represented by both the General Minister, who serves as President of the denomination, and the Associate General minister. According to the UCC office of communication press release at the time of restructure, "In the new executive arrangement, the five will work together in a Collegium of Officers, meeting as peers.

This setting is designed to provide an opportunity for mutual responsibility and reporting, as well as ongoing assessment of UCC programs. The Pension Boards offices are located in New York City , where the headquarters of all UCC national bodies had been located prior to their move to Ohio in the early s. The Insurance Board is a nonprofit corporation collectively "owned" by the Conferences of the United Church of Christ.

The UCC later won a lawsuit that resulted in a federal court decision that the broadcast air waves are public, not private, property. That led toward the proliferation of people of color in television studios and newsrooms. The UCC national body has been active in numerous traditionally liberal social causes, including support for abortion rights, [35] the United Farm Workers , and the Wilmington Ten. Churches in the UCC are allowed to solemnize same-sex unions.

It now is the second-largest Christian denominational entity in the US to support same-sex marriage , after the Presbyterian Church. The resolution was one of 32 actions [37] by General Synod and other national bodies, beginning in , which support civil rights for LGBT citizens and urge their full inclusion in the life of the church. On April 28, , the UCC filed a lawsuit against North Carolina for not permitting same-sex marriage, the first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans in the US. Same-sex marriage is not supported by some UCC congregations, but it is rapidly gaining ground.

One calls for the use of economic leverage to promote peace in the Middle East, which can include measures such as government lobbying, selective investment , shareholder lobbying, and selective divestment from companies which profit from the continuing Israel-Palestine conflict.

Opponents of the "Tear Down the Wall" resolution have noted that the wall's purpose is to prevent terrorist attacks, and that the resolution does not call for a stop to these attacks. Thomas expressing concern "with the precedent-setting implications of voted actions, integrity of process and trust". The United Church of Christ, along with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, created the Our Whole Lives curriculum commonly known as OWL , which is a lifespan, comprehensive, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate sexuality education program.

The Our Whole Lives curricula are secular. Congregations who use this program often also use "Sexuality and Our Faith" for the age level they are offering. The curriculum is based on guidelines provided by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. At the General Synod, the United Church of Christ began a campaign with "emphasis on expanding the UCC's name-brand identity through modern advertising and marketing".

The initiative was themed around the quotation "Never place a period where God has placed a comma" attributed to Gracie Allen. Campaign materials, including print and broadcast advertising as well as merchandise, featured the quote and a large comma with a visual theme in red and black. United Church of Christ congregations were asked to opt into the campaign, signifying their support as well as their willingness to receive training on hospitality and evangelism.

An evangelism event was held in Atlanta in August to promote the campaign. They are becoming the religious brand that is known for this.

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The church's diversity and adherence to covenantal polity rather than government by regional elders or bishops give individual congregations a great deal of freedom in the areas of worship, congregational life, and doctrine. Nonetheless, some critics, mainly social and theological conservatives, are [ when?

Following the decision of General Synod 25 in to endorse same-sex marriage, the UCC's Puerto Rico Conference left the church, citing differences over "the membership and ministry of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians". A controversy arose over former U. Barry Lynn , an ordained UCC minister and the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State , stated that although he personally would not have invited a Presidential candidate to speak at the meetings, he believed "the Internal Revenue Service permits this to happen.

Nevertheless, in February , the IRS sent a letter to the church stating that it was launching an inquiry into the matter. John H. In May , the IRS issued a letter which states that the UCC had taken appropriate steps and that the denomination's tax status was not in jeopardy. At the time of its formation, the UCC had over 2 million members in nearly 7, churches.

The decline in number of congregations continued through , as the Annual Report shows 5, member churches. Membership is concentrated primarily in the Northeast and Midwest. Pennsylvania, a bastion of the German Reformed tradition, has the largest number of members and churches.

Resources congregations and their leaders

As of , the state had over congregations and over , members. These 18 schools have affirmed the purposes of the United Church of Christ Council for Higher Education by official action and are full members of the Council. Though in many respects similar to the colleges and universities that have full membership in the Council, these institutions tend to be less intentional about their relationships with the United Church of Christ.

These colleges and universities were founded by or are otherwise related historically to the denomination or its predecessors, but no longer maintain any direct relationship. This section lists notable people known to have been past or present members or raised in the United Church of Christ or its predecessor denominations.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other merged denominations, see United and uniting churches. For other churches that have the words "Church" and "Christ" in their name, see Church of Christ disambiguation.

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To purchase tickets click here. Ask a Question About this Product More Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan. It also does not include those who may have been in a religiously mixed marriage at the time they got married if one or both spouses later switched religions and now share the same faith. We are thrilled that Rev. Also known as 'VGen', Vision Generation is a part of the youth community of World Vision — Australia's largest international humanitarian nongovernment organisation. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.

Protestant Christian denomination. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. See also: Associations of the United Church of Christ. See also: Conferences of the United Church of Christ. See also: Resolutions of the United Church of Christ. Christianity portal. Cleveland, Ohio: United Church Press. January 1, Encyclopedia of American Religious History. Infobase Publishing.

We Have A Heritage of Free-Thinkers

Retrieved October 31, Next in size and historical importance is the United Church of Christ, which is the historic continuation of the Congregational churches founded under the influence of New England Puritanism. The United Church of Christ also subsumed the third major Reformed group, the German Reformed, which then known as the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregationalists in Retrieved March 8, Retrieved March 12, Retrieved January 16, The Shaping of the United Church of Christ.

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American Journal of Family Therapy, 30 1 , 19 — Hardwired to connect: The new scientific case for authoritative communities. Fincham, F. I say a little prayer for you: Praying for partner increases commitment in romantic relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 28 5 , — Spiritual behaviors and relationship satisfaction: A critical analysis of the role of prayer.

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27 4 , — Francis, L. The influence of home, church and school on prayer among sixteen-year-old adolescents in England. Review of Religious Research, 33 2 , — Hagestad, G. Should we be concerned about age segregation?