About St. John’s United Church of Christ

In 1856 a group of German immigrants who had settled in Wheeling Township established the first German Evangelical Church to be founded in the state of Minnesota. The roots of their (and our) Evangelical heritage can be traced back to the Protestant Reformation and the works of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Swingli.

We are a welcoming church family with a variety of backgrounds. We respect our traditions and our past while we embrace the future.

We believe that the pilgrimage of faith is both an individual and a communal experience and that the growth of each is interrelated and dependent upon the other.

 

About the United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where “…they may all be one” (John 17:21).

The Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC’s many “firsts” mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

A Church of Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.

We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

 

Who We Are

Our faith is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not.
We believe in God’s continuing testament.  This is why we are committed to hearing God’s ancient story anew and afresh in our lives and in the world today.  We try to remain attentive to God’s creative movement in the world. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, and your head and heart are both welcomed into our places of worship.  We prepare our members and leaders to be engaged in ministry in the present and future church, and we embrace all kinds of communities and new modes of thinking.  Why? Because God is still speaking,

No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
We believe in extravagant welcome.  This is why we insist that God’s communion table is open, not closed, and God’s gift and claim in baptism are irrevocable.  We advocate justice for all.  Our congregations extend hospitality as a sign of God’s inclusive love.  We teach that evangelism — offering bread to those in search of it — is God’s mission.  Our perspective is global, not provincial.  We work with — not against — people of other faiths.  Why? Because God is still speaking,

Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
We believe the church’s mission is to change lives — individually, systemically and globally.  We work to make transformation possible, but trust in God’s grace.  This is why we insist that churches must be places of vitality in worship, learning and advocacy. We are committed to working for justice, and we believe that lives are changed through global experiences and friendships.  Why? Because God is still speaking,

 

*Information from the section “About the United Church of Christ” and “Who We Are” was taken from http://www.ucc.org/