Friday, April 16, 2010

The United Church of Christ Gets It

It's thrilling to share this new video from the United Church of Christ with you.

It is a stirring, moving photo montage demonstrating their commitment to justice, full inclusion, and diversity.

It's an invitation to join their churches...but I think it's a challenge to other denominations to do as well for all. They are creating a viral movement. I hope you'll take a moment and watch it.

Regardless of your religious background, I think you'll find "God is still speaking."

I'm having a bit of denomination envy myself.

The Language of God from United Church of Christ on Vimeo.


10 comments:

Mtannie said...

Debra - what kind and loving words. Thank you for all you and your UU family are doing, too, to celebrate the goodness of life in all its radiance.

Rev. Allyson said...

I'm a pagan, polyamorous, and a proud member of the UCC. :) I stumbled across it when my sis needed a church in our newly moved-to home in New Hampshire. We ran across the United Church of Winchester, where we were welcomed with open arms. No one cared who we were partnered with; they cared only that we were happy, healthy, and caring. People at our congregation have been so open and loving, even with me being so different. :) Your denomination envy is well noted *grin*

ContemplativeNonTheist said...

The UCC is expressing an ideal. The reality is there are many UCC churches that still have a long way to go. The UCC church in my town recently refused to become O&A even though the minister is openly lesbian. They were concerned that becoming O&A would invite "buses full of gays" into the church. And I stepped down from in care status from the UCC because I was told by the Ministry council that with my vision of ministry (gay pride days at church, social activism, pro-choice advocacy) I would never get a job.

For the record, of a total 5,320 congregations, about 657 are O&A (according to the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns, as of July 2007). That's a little more than 10%. Not very good odds if you're a gay or lesbian person seeking a welcoming place to worship - though of course, many congregations are O&A even if they haven't adopted an official policy on it.

So I'm happy that the UCC is making another attempt to re-brand itself. But I think there may be a lot of people who step into a UCC church expecting something they may not get.

Pam said...

I am SO proud to be a member of the United Church of Christ. I love its openness, inclusiveness, and striving to REALLY live Christ-like. Heard a joke at Church: why are people so afraid of that brown-skinned, anti-war socialist, who gives out free health care? You mean Barack Obama? No, Jesus!

lsmacgregor said...

We are still using your "Balancing Acts" on our Safety Committee at our UCC church. Unfortunately had to use your template for a limited access agreement form. We are so thankful to have had a guide to work from in a situation that has been and continues to be painful and challenging.

Paul Oakley said...

Denomination envy? Well, I get it...

But how about, instead, just not being ashamed publicly to state our pride in the good our first-cousin denomination is doing.

UCC are our family. And I am proud of our cousins.

David Bahr said...

Thank you for sharing this video with your readers. I wanted to share with the ContemplativeNonTheist that I sympathize with the struggles of the UCC having an ideal it has not yet fully realized. That said, progress is faster than I could have ever anticipated. When I was ordained as an out gay man in the UCC in 1993, I was one of a half dozen serving congregations. Two years ago I was called to a new predominantly straight congregation for whom my being gay was an asset - a positive. It's not enough, but I would never have imagined that there are now well over 100 openly gay pastors serving predominantly straight churches or that the number of official Open and Affirming churches would already be over 800. Keep holding the ideal and making it reality.

Laraf123 said...

After decades of church-hopping, I joined a UCC this year--my first ever membership in a church. During the member 'class', the pastor said (in reference the church allowing anyone to take communion) that "it's God's table, we don't make the guest list". It was then that I realized, as you say, The United Church of Christ gets it".

Debra W. Haffner said...

It's great to have so many new readers and commentators. Welcome! Yes, Paul, definitely cousins. Yes, contemplativenontheist, still an ideal to strive for but we need to celebrate the churches who have engaged; Rev. Bahr and Allyson, I hope you are members of the Religious Institute network or will join; and I'm so happy for those of you who have found a loving church community. I hope you'll keep reading here and get involved in our Faithful Voices Network.

Qiyamah A.Rahman said...

Hi Debra: While I think the video was a good one you might want to view the one I saw today while on UUA's website. I was so very proud to be a UU as I listened to the "testimonials". It might take away some of that denominational envy! lol

Keep up the great work! Qiyamah A. Rahman

Unitarian Universalism: Voices of Liberal Faith (10 min. U Tube video) or go to www.uua.org