On April 19, 1961, the Congregational Church of Hollis voted to “enter into fellowship with the United Church of Christ (UCC).”
The United Church of Christ (U.C.C.) is a denomination that’s both old and new. The denomination was “born” in 1957 with the joining together of two denominations (Evangelical & Reformed Church, and General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches) that themselves had been comprised of prior denominational unions. Still, U.C.C. denominational roots run right back to the earliest days of the Protestant Reformation—and in that, to the earliest days of the apostolic church.
The official 1957 emblem of the U.C.C. depicts some of the core commitments: The cross, crown, and orb symbolizes the conviction that Jesus Christ is the sole Head of the Church. And the words beneath the name—”That They May All Be One” (from John 17:21, where Jesus prays for the unity of believers)—reflects the commitment to ecumenism and unity among the faithful.
Unity is fostered by a mutual respect and honoring of each congregation’s unique way of working, worshiping, and wondering about God together, summed up in a 17th-century quote: “In essentials—unity; in nonessentials—liberty; in all things—charity.” Love, charity, and unity in the midst of diversity are among the U.C.C.’s greatest assets. The U.C.C. does not have religious “tests”, no rigid formulation of doctrine, or required assent to particular creeds or structures. Theologically, the U.C.C. tends to be more liberal, but that does not mean that we are ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The U.C.C. is evangelical—not in the sense of being biblical literalists who insist that our way is the only way to understand God—but in the traditional sense of the word, meaning that the way and message of Jesus truly is good news. We believe in the authority of Scripture. But we also believe that God is still speaking, and any one of us represents a potential “voice box” through which God’s word can be spoken. Collectively, we have become known for our denominational commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of Scripture, and justice advocacy.
Learn more about our denomination here UCC.org.
Learn more about the New Hampshire Conference of the UCC here NHCUCC.org