FAQs About Membership

What is UCC? The United Church of Christ came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these was, in turn, the result of a union of two earlier traditions. The characteristics of the United Church of Christ can be summarized in part by the key words in the names that formed our union: Christian, Reformed, Congregational, Evangelical.

 
Why join Community UCC? When you come to worship and experience love, learn of our values and our witness to Christ, put down roots and grow with a particular faith community, you might be feeling God’s call to join as a member of the church. We are a church family that cares for, and watches over each other. Joining as a member doesn’t earn you “special status” in the eyes of God; it’s a personal demonstration of your commitment to this faith community, its members, and its life for the years ahead.

Are there any “privileges” of membership? Absolutely! Church members make a conscious and public decision to participate in Community United Church of Christ with time, talents and treasure, to the best of their abilities. Members build up a community of friends and “extended family” to share life with in times of trial and times of rejoicing. Members have priority access to the services and care of church staff, including the Pastor, Parish Nurse and Administrative Assistant. Members also receive discounted or free use of building space, the privilege of a vote in decisions about the church’s future, and the opportunity to serve in top elected positions of church leadership.

How do I become a member of Community UCC? If you are interested in membership, please e-mail pastor@stpaulparkucc.org. A group of potential members periodically meet to share more about the church, the broader United Church of Christ, and the responsibilities of church membership. To join the church, new members declare their commitment as part of a worship service, share in a common confession of faith and the church covenant, then receive gifts of welcome and gratitude.

Do you have to be a member of Community UCC to receive communion, be baptized, get married, or have a funeral? No. Throughout its history, Community UCC has been a place that offered the rituals of the church to anyone who had need. That tradition continues to this day. In cases where a fee is necessary for building use or church services, members receive these services at a reduced or free rate, in recognition of their long-term commitment to the faith community.

What do I have to believe to be a member here? We recognize that vital faith continues to grow and change over the course of a person’s life, shaped by each experience along the way. Therefore, we have very few “hard and fast” beliefs that are required for membership. At the time of joining, new members and everyone in worship confesses together the earliest affirmation of Christian faith: “I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Members also commit to a shared covenant: “We covenant with the Lord and one with another; and do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to walk together in all God’s ways as they are revealed to us through the divine gifts of scripture, tradition, reason and experience.”

Are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) people welcome to join as members? Are members of other minority groups welcome as members? Yes. Community UCC is an Open and Affirming congregation, “welcoming all persons regardless of race, gender, identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as ethnic or socio-economic background into the full life and ministry of the church.”

Using Church Space

The church building exists for the broader community as well as our congregation’s members. If you are interested in using church space for weddings, funerals, meetings or other events, please contact the church office at 651-459-2543. We follow the guidelines of our building use policy, which includes specified rates for non-church groups and organizations to use the space.