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Switch to Forum Live View Would I be comfortable at a UCC church?
7 years ago  ::  Mar 05, 2008 - 12:08PM #1
MeThree
Posts: 1
I am a Unitarian-Universalist, but lately I've been unhappy with our church.  Our minister (who I love) is leaving, and there seems to be a lot of political in-fighting among the various church groups.  I'm also feeling like something is missing from my church experience and that of my kids, some sense of ritual and spirituality.  My oldest son is 10 and is often embarassed because he has trouble explaining what his religion is, and he feels left out of milestones like first communion and the like. 
My general religious beliefs are that there is a God, but non-corporeal and probably not directly related in human affairs.  I believe strongly that Jesus did exist and in his teachings, but I don't believe in him as a deity.  I also believe strongly in doing good for it's reward in this lifetime and not as a guarantee of eternal reward.   I am more Universalist in my belief that all people go on to an afterlife.  Would my beliefs be accepted at a UCC church? 
Do they have anything like first communion for children to participate in?  Also, my city has three different UCC churches, any idea how I would choose between the three?  I did notice one does not advertise as being a "welcoming congregation" so I would guess they are more conservative and that probably wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm not sure what to look for to choose between the other two.

Thanks for any help or suggestions,
Kristin
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 9:11PM #2
Protestant_irish
Posts: 90
if you have no problem with Jesus being Divine, i do not think  it be one. I think keep in mind this is not untarian church too.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2008 - 1:01PM #3
Xpan_ur_mind_xpan_ur_heart
Posts: 9
[QUOTE=MeThree;334334]
My general religious beliefs are that there is a God, but non-corporeal and probably not directly related in human affairs.  I believe strongly that Jesus did exist and in his teachings, but I don't believe in him as a deity. 
Thanks for any help or suggestions,
Kristin[/QUOTE]




No matter how (literal or allegorical; creation or sci; etc) all Christians believe God does play a very real role in day-to-day events.  For that reason all Christian churches, including the UCC, revolve around the idea of interacting with Christ.

Maybe try asking yourself two questions:  Do I like this congregation?  Is having a personal relationship with God through Christ what I am seeking (what was lacking in my UU church)?   If, after thought and prayer, you can say yes to these two questions… I think you’ve found your home.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2009 - 3:17PM #4
jim.mcfarland
Posts: 3

I would disagree with Protestant_Irish... My UCC experience has been that specific beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible are personal, and would not be a barrier to you joining a UCC church.

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 11, 2010 - 1:17PM #5
Jrhawkeye
Posts: 7

I was glad to find this thread. I have been part of 2 UCC churches before, but never wanted to really bring up this question.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2011 - 10:11PM #6
ChrisJB59
Posts: 2

There's an inside joke that UCC stands for "Unitarians Considering Christ."  The two denominations are historically closely related (Unitarianism is an early 19th-century offshoot of Congregationalism) and there are many in the UCC whose beliefs could be described as unitarian (i.e., Jesus, while an inspiring figure worthy of honor and emulation, is not God) and universalist (i.e., there is no literal place called Hell, and the "devil" is not a real person but a potent symbol of humanity's flaws and weaknesses).  So yeah, if you are not finding spiritual fulfillment with the UUs (welcome to the club!) the UCC might be a good fit.  As for which of your three local churches to attend, try each one for a few consecutive weeks to really get a feel for the pastor, church culture, programs offered, etc.  Don't just go once and then choose.  The UCC is very localized, unlike say the Catholic or Episcopal church, so each one is different.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2011 - 4:22PM #7
Annitenth
Posts: 5

I too came to the United Church of Christ from the Unitarian Universalist denomination, also primarily because my children seemed to want a more "regular" church experience.


UCC churches may differ, but mine, in the southwest, does not have anything to compare to first communion.  Children are welcome to participate in communion when their parents believe they have been properly prepared for that experience.


There is a confirmation class which usually meets weekly for an entire year and is for children in the 12 to 13 year-old age group.  Following that class they are admitted into full church membership. 


We have Sunday school classes ranging from nursery through activities for teenagers.  We also have two youth choirs which perform occasionally during the main service and also a youth handbell choir.


Although I cannot fault the UU classes my children had as being a good preschool experience, their training at the UCC has been much more traditional.  Both mine are now grown:  one attends a United Methodist church with her family, the other no longer attends any church. 


For myself, I find the church service and the congregation a bit too traditional but the pastor is quite open in his thinking (as are most pastors in mainline denominations these days), and I do not feel uncomfortable in his church.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2011 - 5:03PM #8
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,372

Mar 13, 2011 -- 4:22PM, Annitenth wrote:


I too came to the United Church of Christ from the Unitarian Universalist denomination, also primarily because my children seemed to want a more "regular" church experience.


UCC churches may differ, but mine, in the southwest, does not have anything to compare to first communion.  Children are welcome to participate in communion when their parents believe they have been properly prepared for that experience.


There is a confirmation class which usually meets weekly for an entire year and is for children in the 12 to 13 year-old age group.  Following that class they are admitted into full church membership. 


We have Sunday school classes ranging from nursery through activities for teenagers.  We also have two youth choirs which perform occasionally during the main service and also a youth handbell choir.


Although I cannot fault the UU classes my children had as being a good preschool experience, their training at the UCC has been much more traditional.  Both mine are now grown:  one attends a United Methodist church with her family, the other no longer attends any church. 


For myself, I find the church service and the congregation a bit too traditional but the pastor is quite open in his thinking (as are most pastors in mainline denominations these days), and I do not feel uncomfortable in his church.




 


What was it about the UU'S that you didn't like?  I'm coming from the opposite direction. lol

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Eleanor Roosevelt
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2011 - 8:04PM #9
Annitenth
Posts: 5

It has been many years since I made the change, and I may not recall all of the many reasons I switched.


First was my children's desire to have a more normal church environment.


Secondly, my husband and I were no longer together, and I felt very strange coming into a service with no one to sit with.  This seems ridiculous as I write it now, but it was a powerful point at the time.


Also, there was a change of pastoral leadership going on, always a difficult time.  And my very best friend and I had a falling out, for reasons I have not in more than 20 years ever understood, and it was so difficult to be in a small church and avoid this person and be avoided by her.


The UU's, at least at my church, were becoming more and more open to various other religious strains.  I had no problem rejecting the mythology of Christianity, but I did have trouble accepting the wiccan influences and all the ohm-ohm chanting that went on.


I was raised in a Methodist church and had drifted through several other denominations, including Episcopalian and Presbyterian, and their traditional worship patterns spoke "church" to me.  Even the building itself, a square box with no raised dais, did not seem to answer my needs at that time.


Before becoming involved with UUism, I had thought of it as a development of the Christian faith which had found a unitarian god rather than worshipping the trinity.  I found a church in which the name of God was virtually never spoken, with sermons about saving the whales.  It just wasn't what I wanted.


I hope this helps.


 


 


 

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