ST. PAUL UCC

WHAT WE BELIEVE

GENERALLY SPEAKING....


WE BELIEVE IN THE TRIUNE GOD:

Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.

WE BELIEVE THAT EACH PERSON IS UNIQUE AND VALUABLE.

 It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.

WE BELIEVE THAT EACH PERSON IS ON A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.

WE BELIEVE THAT THE PRESISTENT SEARCH FOR GOD PRODUCES AN AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD,

engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.

WE BELIEVE THAT ALL OF THE BAPTIZED 'BELONG BODY AND SOUL TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.'

No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized – and we promise that we won't take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.

WE BELIEVE THAT ALL PEOPLE OF FAITH ARE INVITED TO JOIN CHRIST AT CHRIST'S TABLE FOR THE SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION

Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.

WE BELIEVE THE UCC IS CALLED TO BE A UNITED AND UNITING CHURCH.

"That they may all be one." (John 17:21) "In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity," These UCC mottos survive because they touch core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, love and unity in the midst of our diversity are our greatest assets.

WE BELIEVE THAT GOD CALLS US TO BE SERVANTS IN THE SERVICE OF OTHERS

and to be good stewards of the earth's resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'

WE BELIEVE THAT THE UCC IS CALLED TO BE A PROPHETIC CHURCH.

As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted.

WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PEACE,

and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.

WE ARE PEOPLE OF POSSIBILITY.

In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear... for after all, God is still speaking, ...

MORE SPECIFICALLY....

 

The basis of our beliefs is stated in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ denomination:

 

The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, and in purity of heart before God. In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.

 

What does this mean in the life of the church? We are a proclaiming church that celebrates the rich Christian traditions that have given us a living and vital faith in Jesus. We are also a listening church that strives to discover the ways that God is still speaking among us today so that we live out the good news of Jesus Christ faithfully in each new generation.

 

In our congregation you will find a positive proclamation of

  • God’s abundant love for all people;
  • God’s amazing grace, embodied and proclaimed by Jesus Christ, that redeems and restores us all;
  • God’s growing reign, through the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit, that touches lives and transforms nations.

 

As we come from many faith backgrounds, you will also find a diversity of views and ideas on many areas of faith and the practice of our faith. But we encourage unity in the essential issues of our faith as we seek the Spirit’s guidance. We invite each person on their unique journey of faith to discover God’s presence and activity in our world.

 

We seek oneness in Christ and strive to live-out our discipleship in our attitudes and actions, understanding that “to believe is to care and to care is to do.” Faith must be visible as we care for one another, our community, our world and all of God’s creation. Faith must make a difference.