||What We Believe
Faith of the United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ is a very unique denomination in that it
brings together in one body, the beliefs, and traditions of most major
Christian Faiths in the United States. Through our
and Reformed churches, we are linked directly to the Lutheran and
Reformed strands of the Reformation and of the early European
immigration and our nation's frontier ministries. Through the
Congregational Church, we can trace our beginnings to the English
Reformation, the Puritan movement, and the arrival of the Pilgrim's on
Plymouth Rock. The Christian Church (Congregational Christians) brought
the traditions of Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists into the mix.
Since the merger in 1957, we have received people and churches and
traditions from a very wide variety of Christian experiences, and it's
been a very heady and varied mix of theological and cultural
understandings. That makes for some very interesting discussions.
The churches of the United Church of Christ are made up of
congregations across the full spectrum of faith and belief, from
liberal to conservative and everything in between. There is no one
"theology" or "belief system" to describe us. Our Statement of Faith is
exactly that, a common statement held by our members It is not intended
to be either a creed or doctrine, and it is certainly never to be used
as a test of one's faith. It is important to remember that the United
Church of Christ is made up of thousands of churches just like ours,
and that every one of them is filled with good and caring Christians
who take their faith seriously. But we do cover a wide and diverse
range of theological perspectives. And yet, there must be an essential
core of beliefs that are necessary in order for us to call ourselves
"Christian." To discover who we are as a United Church of Christ, it is
important to look at the foundational documents of our faith. The first
of these, always, is the Bible. We are, always have been, and always
will be a Biblically inspired church. Add to this, our centeredness in
Christ, our history and traditions, and the faithful men and women,
pastors and laity, who work to make the faith an important part of our
world today, and you begin to know the depth of faith that we claim as
believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
From the English Language Liturgical Consultation, 1988.
Statement of Faith of the United Church of
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus
Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own
and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared
through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen
Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin
and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing
church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all
ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of
discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, 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
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and
of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence
in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
Preamble of the Constitution of the United
Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ acknowledges as it's 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 it's 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.
1907 Covenant of the First Congregational
Church of Nekoosa
The covenant by which this church exists as a distinct body and which
every member accepts, is as follows:
Acknowledging Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, and accepting the
Holy scripture as our sufficient rule of faith and practice, and
recognizing the privilege and duty of uniting ourselves for Christian
Fellowship, the enjoyment of Christian ordinances, the public worship
of God, and the advancement of his kingdom in the world, we have in the
sight of God and invoking his blessing, solemnly covenanted and agreed
with each other to associate ourselves to be a church of the Lord Jesus
Christ, as warranted by the word of God.
We enter into covenant with the members of the Church Universal in an
endeavor to forsake sin and practice righteousness, and with them
pledge loyalty to Jesus Christ, his teachings, and way of life. We
engage to cultivate the spirit of penitence and faith; to study
diligently the scriptures; to be faithful in secret prayer; to maintain
and encourage family worship; religiously to observe the Sabbath; and
to seek the help of God that we may keep this covenant to the end.
We, moreover; bind ourselves by covenant to this Church, to walk with
it in observing the sacraments; in attending its meetings for worship
on the Sabbath, unless providentially hindered; to watch over its
members in love; to seek its purity, peace and up building; to be
humbly submissive to its government and discipline and gladly loyal to
its plans and policies of work, as also to those of the Body of
Churches with which it is in fellowship so far as all those are
comfortable to the Gospel; counting it as a privilege to be subject to
that authority which Christ Himself established in His Church.
We also promise that we will support the social, financial,
educational, benevolent and spiritual interests of this Church; that we
will work with its members to extend the Kingdom of Christ in the
world, and to make this Church a power for good. Relying on God's grace
and help, we do thus faithfully covenant and engage.
the Manual of the First Congregational Church, Nekoosa, Wisconsin,
1907. By-laws, article II - Covenant.
the Nekoosa UCC Constitution and By-laws
Article III –
This church acknowledges Jesus Christ as its head and finds in the Holy
Scriptures, interpreted by the Divine Spirit through reason, faith and
conscience, its guidance in matters of faith and discipline. . .
Article IV - Doctrine
This church recognizes the Bible as the sufficient rule of faith and
practice, and holds that living in accordance with the teaching of
Jesus Christ is the true test of fellowship. Each member shall have the
undisturbed right to follow the Word of God according to the dictates
of their own conscience, under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
The following statement of faith, therefore, is not a test but an
expression of the spirit in which the church interprets the Word of God.
We believe in God, infinite in wisdom, goodness and love; and in Jesus
Christ, God's son, our Lord and Savior, who for us and our salvation
lived and died and rose again and lives evermore; and in the Holy
Spirit, who takes the things of Christ and reveals them to us,
renewing, comforting and inspiring the souls of all.
We are striving to know the will of God as taught us in the Holy
Scriptures, and in our purpose to walk in the ways of the Lord, make
known or to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the
church to proclaim the gospel to all humankind, exalting the worship of
the one true God and laboring for the progress of the knowledge, the
promotion of justice, the reign of peace, and the realization of human
faith and fellowship. Depending, as did our forbearers upon the
continued guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, we
work and pray for the transformation of the world into the sovereignty
of God; and we look with faith for the triumph of righteousness and the