What is the UCC?
UCC Burlington is a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a progressive Protestant denomination.
The denomination began in 1957 when the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church joined. The UCC motto is taken from Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 17:21, “That they may all be one.” We are a united and uniting church.
Before we joined the UCC, our church was a member of the Congregational Church, and our roots can be traced back to the Pilgrims and Puritans. We are a congregation of the Metropolitan Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. Individual UCC congregations are not bound by hierarchal control—each local church is autonomous. However, we are a people of covenant. Our overarching ethos in the UCC has always been, and will always be, love.
We are a non-creedal tradition, however our denomination has a Statement of Faith, which is as follows:
We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.
God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.
God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, 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.
God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God. Amen.
The UCC prides itself on being a prophetic Christian tradition with many “firsts,” including ordaining the first female pastor since biblical times and the first openly gay pastor. We were also the first main protestant denomination to endorse equality in marriage in 2005. You can find out more about our historic “firsts,” by clicking here.