What we Believe

  • That they may all be one (John 17:21) - This motto of the United Church of Christ reflects the spirit of unity on which it is based and points toward future efforts to heal the divisions in the body of Christ.
     
  • In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things charity - The unity we seek requires neither an uncritical acceptance of any point of view, nor a rigid mutual understanding and agreement as to which aspects of Christian faith and life are essential.
     
  • Testimonies of faith rather than tests of faith - Because faith can be expressed in many different ways, the United Church of Christ has no formula that is a test of faith.
     
  • There is yet more light and truth to break forth from God's holy word - This classic statement assumes the primacy of the Bible as a source for understanding the good news and as a foundation for all statements of faith.
     
  • The Priesthood of All Believers - All members of the United Church of Christ are called to minister to others and to participate as equals in the common worship of God, each with direct access to the mercies of God through personal prayer and devotion.
     
  • Responsible Freedom - As individual members, we are free to believe and act in accordance with our perception of God's will for our lives. But we are called to live in a loving, conventional relationship with one another - gathering in communities of faith, congregations of believers, local churches. 
  • Each congregation is free to act in accordance with the collective decisions of its members, guided by the working of the Spirit in the light of the scriptures. We recognize our calling both as individuals and as the church to live in the world:
    • Ministering to its needs
    • Contributing to the welfare of all
    • Being enriched by those aspects of culture that help to make human life more human
    • Working through institutions and supporting laws that reflect God's just and loving purpose for the world; seeking justice and liberation for all

This is the challenge of the United Church of Christ.

 

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.

 

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the one holy universal Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

From the Evangelical Catechism, Copyright, 1957.

 

The Statement of Faith

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father, and to his deeds we testify:

 

He calls the worlds into being,
creates persons in his own image,
and sets before them the ways of life and death.

 

He seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

 

He judges men and nations by his righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.

 

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, he has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to himself.

 

He bestows upon us his Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

 

He calls us into his church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be his servants in the service of men, 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.

 

He promises to all who trust him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, his presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in his kingdom which has no end.

 

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto him.

Amen.

 

Preamble of the Constitution of the United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ, son of God and Saviour. 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.

 

-From the Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ.

© 2017 St John United Church of Christ
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