A willingness to live into the covenant and the ability to live out the mission of the UCC in the world.
- A willingness to live in the covenants of mutual accountability that characterize authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ.
- to share key elements of the UCC’s statement of faith, constitution with its preamble, and bylaws regarding the governance, mission, and theologies of the UCC and their implications for the life of the church.
- to articulate the UCC’s commitment to being a united and uniting, multiracial and multicultural, open and affirming, accessible to all and just peace church.
- to envision how the UCC in its various settings may respond to religious, social, economic, and political trends, changing demographics, and other emerging factors.
- to use and promote the informational and educational resources available through UCC publications and websites.
My understanding of the UCC’s mission to fully become a “United and Uniting, multiracial and multicultural, open and affirming, accessible to all and just peace church” began at the first General Synod I attended. I have had the honor and privilege to attend General Synod 28 and 29 where I witnessed the UCC honoring its mission “that they may all be one.” At General Synod 28, a resolution was brought to the floor regarding the use of language during the offering of the Sacrament of Baptism. While I do not remember the resolution word for word, I do remember that if the language used during baptism included the wording of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” that the Catholic Church would recognize the baptism. This was also the same Synod that the UCC and the DOC would sign agreements of Full Communion Relationship. These were amazing accomplishments for the UCC as it lives into bringing everyone to the table.
At General Synod 29, I witness the UCC and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries come together in Full Communion Relationship as I watched the signing of the agreement between the two denominations. It was a joyous moment at Synod that year right up there with the striking down of Prop8 and the wedding of Dave Sigmund and Jay Greaves. At the 30th General Synod, I witnessed yet another way that we, the UCC, are leading the way in opening ourselves up to further becoming United and Uniting. The vote for resolution #8 to be in Full Communion Relationship Between the United Church of Christ and United Church of Canada was unanimous. With the joining of UCC (USA) and United Church of Canada, the UCC orb now gathers another part of the world within the UCC to signify Jesus’ command, “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” so “that they may all be one.”