Trinity United Church of Christ

17 North 3rd Street, Coplay, PA 18037

What is the United Church of Christ (UCC)?

It's a community of Christians with Christ as the sole head of the Church.

The UCC has about 1.1 million members:
     * In over 6,000 congregations throughout American
     * in cities, suburbs, and rural areas
     * of many nationalities and races.

A United and Uniting church...
   The UCC was once several church bodies, now joined together. Congregations support each other in the work of
   Christ through denominational structures.

   The goal of the UCC is to be joined together in on church on earth with all who share allegiance to Christ.

   The UCC takes an active role in:
     * promoting cooperation between churches and denominations
     * bringing people everywhere together in the name of Christ
     * building sacramental and missionary partnerships with other denominations and churches.

The History of UCC
   Four churches denominations merged into two, then into one - a history of Ecumenical Unity!

   The German Reformed Church of the US - Followed Calvinist beliefs and traditions.
   Evangelical Synod in North America - Followed mostly Lutheran Reformed and other Christian beliefs.

   These two churches united in 1934 to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. They stress liberty of
    conscience, through the Scriptures and their common German Protestant heritage.

   Congregational Churches - Followed mostly Calvinist and Puritan Beliefs and a congregational polity.
   The Christian Churches - consisted of 5 churches coming together mainly the Disciples of Christ and the
                                          Christian Church.

    These two churches united in 1931 to form the Congregational Christian Churches. They stressed
    congregational freedom and a continuing reformation.

   In 1957, these denominational streams united to form the United Church of Christ.

   Today, the UCC is interested in uniting with other churches in fulfillment of the great prayer of Jesus Christ
      "that they may all be one."

   The religious heritage of the UCC stems from the great traditions of the Protestant Reformation - Lutheran,
    Calvinist and Congregational. These traditions were brought to America by Protestants fleeing persecution in

What are the beliefs of the UCC?
   Authority of the Scriptures - The Bible is an integral and vital part of the faith and practice.
   Doctrinal Freedom - Different covenants and confessions of faith are accepted in different congregations.
   Christian Unity - All Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ and must help each other.
   The Trinity - Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit are one God.
   God - acting in love, God is ever active in the world.
   Jesus Christ - In Christ, the only head of the church, God has come, conquering sin and reconciling the world to
                         Divine Love.
   The Holy Spirit - God sent the Holy Spirit as the Eternal Ones continuing presence and activity in the world.
   The Church - The church consists of a group of people united in Christ through worship, work and witness.
   Salvation - Forgiveness, grace, and eternal life are promised to all who have faith.
   Bearing Witness - Members must be disciples, in word and in deed - the strength of their faith.
   Redefining Faith - Each generation is responsible for rethinking its beliefs, as God's word unfolds and
                                conditions change.
   Serving Others - The mission of the church is to work for justice for all and to establish God's rule in the world.

The Statement of Faith It sums up the beliefs of the UCC:
  "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, created 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 have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow 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 he service of 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. Amen"

Forms of Worship
  Each congregation has its own autonomy and may practice its own form of worship. Many congregations include:
  Statement of faith; Scripture Reading; Anthems; Prayers; Sermons; Giving Thanks.

The UCC recognizes 2 Sacraments instituted by Christ;
   Baptism - Through baptism, people are joined in faith with Jesus and accepted in the fellowship of the church.
   The Lord's Supper - The breaking of bread and pouring of wine are done in remembrance of Christ's death on
                                   the cross and His resurrection.
     Other special ceremonies called rites include: confirmation, marriage, ordination, and burial.

What does it mean to belong to the UCC?
   Individually - Members of the UCC try to accept more and more the responsibility of being Christ's disciples.
                        This includes: committing themselves totally to God through Christ and responding with faith and
                        gratitude, praise and service to God.
   With Others- Members of the UCC try to to share their faith more and more with each other. They do this by:
                        gathering together in worship, church activities and service, supporting each other on the
                        Christian path and belonging to each other in the church.

Serving in the world...
Helping Others - The UCC's mission is to bring the Gospel to bear on all situations - both personal and social - by
                           helping people in need; building; reconciling; working for justice and peace; healing; and
Working for Christian unity - The UCC recognizes that all Christians share the same basic faith - they are one in
                                              the body of Christ. The UCC seeks to unite all Christians in effective ministry and
                                              mission in Christ's name, while recognizing diversity of work and worship. An
                                              ecumenical partnership with the Christian Church Disciples of Christ was
                                              established in 1989.

How the UCC is organized:
     The structure of the church is based on the local congregation.

The Local Church is the basic unit of the UCC
     * No official hierarchy manages local affairs.
     * Each congregation practices its own forms of organization, worship, education, and mission.
     * The affairs of the church are managed by the members of each congregation.
     * The Pastor is a member of the congregation.

Individual congregations work together through:
     Associations - Groups of local churches work together to ordain ministers and set Association rules and
     Conferences - The are made up of one or more Associations.

 Christ is the only acknowledged leader of the Church.

Church Activities:
     The UCC is a concerned church that witnesses to the Gospel by getting involved:
     * educates members and interested people of all ages in Christianity and the UCC
     * may get actively involved in community affairs - youth programs, raising funds for charitable causes,
       influencing public policy, etc.
     * develops faith and spirituality in individual members.

     * works for social justice in the nation and world, the integrity of creation.
     * communicates the Gospel and identifies social issues that need to be faced.
     * works to improve ecumenical relations to unite all Christians.
     * works to deepen the faith of individual Christians.
     * resolved to strongly uphold and encourage equality for ALL members within the Body of Christ.

     * spreads the good news of the Bible
     * works with other churches in serving the needy through disaster relied, social welfare programs, evangelism,
       and other services
     * promotes world peace.

Take an opportunity to get involved in the UCC!

The United Church of Christ offers:
     Unity - for all Christians of diverse traditions seeking on church on earth.
     Action - a heritage of working for Christ's kingdom
     Freedom - for congregational and individual decisions under Christ.