For Community United Church of Christ, this looks like doing justice: finding solutions for climate change that include the voices of those with the fewest resources; advocating for reform of the cash bail bond system; buying the small adjacent apartment complex to keep it affordable; providing a garden where our children grow food for hungry people. We believe the property on which we gather is not ours alone, so we select our plantings to welcome wildlife and we host community groups who need a place to meet.
To do this justice work, we believe God calls us to tend ourselves individually and as a community. We ask questions with curiosity, taking the Bible seriously but not literally and finding wisdom in the traditions and practices of other faiths. We believe it is okay to laugh in worship, to sit with God and one another in silence, and to talk about the intersection of faith and politics in a sermon. We eat together, take care of each other in times of sickness and grief, pray for one another’s worries, and insist that an opportunity to fellowship is just what is needed in the doldrums of winter.
We believe that each person who becomes part of CUCC is a gift from God and exactly what we needed. As a congregational church, the leadership comes from the people. When someone has an idea to improve our life together or to meet a need in the community, our inclination is to say “yes” and to see how we can support their work. That’s how we got a solar array on our fellowship hall and an interactive art installation advocating for racial justice created by our youth. Our two worship services host a variety of musical styles. We love to sing together the hymns of our Christian faith, both new and old. We enjoy our bluegrass band, Taizé chanting, instrumentalists, and choirs for adults, youth and children – each inspired by the dream and talents of a member. We are grateful that people not accepted elsewhere because they are LGBTQ have found their way to us, offering their talents and leadership.
We believe that the young can lead toward justice and in worship, and that adults have a responsibility to raise up the next generation of spiritually-growing, justice people. We enjoy being an intergenerational church. We encourage our children and youth to participate in the life of the community with on-going opportunities for learning, celebrating and growing. Sometimes this looks like big, community potlucks and cookouts with games on the front lawn. Sometimes it looks like serving meals at the Helen Wright Center or meeting at NC PRIDE. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for adults to connect with their age-peers to explore theological concepts with book studies, Bible studies and Monday Lunch Group. We are rich with the gifts of our staff, including a full-time Youth and Adult Education coordinator and a part-time Director of Children’s Ministries.
What we do not believe is that there is a creed we must follow, or one way of doing things. Like the United Church of Christ, we are reluctant to “put a period where God has placed a comma”; we have experienced that God is still speaking. When we take communion together or celebrate a baptism, we are connecting to the followers of Jesus through time and space – sacraments with meanings too rich to be defined.
Drawn together by the stories of Jesus, we seek to reflect the Love we find in Jesus and in one another.