What is the United Church of Christ?
The United Church of Christ came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these was, in turn, the result of a union of two earlier denominations.
The Congregational Churches were organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation(1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony(1629) acknowledged their essential unity. The Reformed Church in the U.S. traced its beginnings to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania from 1725 on. Later, its ranks were swelled by Reformed folk from Switzerland and other countries.
The Christian Churches sprang up around 1800 in reaction to the rigidity of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches of the time. The Evangelical Synod of North America traced its beginning to an association in 1840 of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri, which reflected the 1817 union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany.
Through the years, members of other groups such as Native American, African Americans, Asian Americans, Armenians, Hungarians, and Hispanic Americans have joined with four earlier groups. Thus the United Church of Christ celebrates and continues a wide variety of traditions in its common life.
We believe in responsible freedom to act in accordance with our individual perception of God's will for us. We are also called to live in loving covenantal relationship with one another, gathering in communities of faith to proclaim the good news of God's love revealed with power in Jesus Christ.
Each congregation or local church is governed by the collective decisions of its members, but also lives in convental relationship to other churches to share insights, to help solve problems, and to work together in mission. We recognize our calling both as individuals and as a church to live responsibly in the world around us,