In 1969 two Raleigh local congregations – the Evangelical and Reformed Church of Raleigh and United Church – merged to form Community United Church of Christ, echoing a national trend of denominational mergers. We made our home with the decade old United Church of Christ (formed in 1957) as part of the Southern Conference of the UCC.
With its commitment to justice, extravagant welcome, and congregational polity, the United Church of Christ provides us with educational and online resources, training and support for our staff, and connections for national- and international-level justice work. We provide financial support to the Southern Conference of the UCC and to ministries of the denomination.
The Southern Conference is enriched by a fifth stream of spiritual tradition: Afro-Christian. In 1965, in the midst of the civil rights movement, three denominations made the decision to work toward Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one.” The Southern Conference reflects three cultural and religious heritages: the Convention of the South of the Congregational Christian Churches (a denomination of African-American Congregational Christian Churches), the Southern Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (of German heritage), and the Southern Convention of the Congregational Christian Churches (of English heritage). These styles of polity and theology continue to influence our work together today.
The UCC’s challenge to member congregations to become Just Peace and later Open and Affirming (ONA) congregations prompted us to verbalize commitments which we already held. The Sacred Conversation on Race is an ongoing program which is informing our current thinking on intersectionality. In turn, we were instrumental in bringing to the denomination an Economic Justice resolution (2014) and a Cash Bail Bond Reform resolution (2021). (Read more about those resolutions here).