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UCC National Web Site

We are eager to share with you the broad and diverse story of the United Church of Christ. With all Christians, we rest in Godís amazing grace and hear Godís voice in the words of Scripture. Yet, we do not require uniformity of belief. We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome and evangelical courage. Our passion for democracy extends to both government and church, where decision-making rests within each congregation. We support liberty in our pulpits, just as we affirm the individual conscience of our 1.2-million members to agree, disagree and wrestle with lifeís biggest questions in a spirit of love. Our story is this nationís story. We are the people of the Mayflower. More than 600 of our 5,700 congregations were formed before 1776. Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of UCC predecessor bodies. As early abolitionists, we came to the aid of the Amistad captives and founded hundreds of schools across the South after the Civil War. We were the first mainline church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853) and an openly gay pastor (1972). We were also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810). Our multi-ethnic membership includes persons from every immigrant group, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves. Our unity is not dependent upon uniform agreement, but in our shared allegiance to Jesus Christ.

† We were the first denomination to accept women in colleges and to ordain women to the ministry.

† The creators of the Boston Tea Party met and organized in the basement of one of our Boston churches.

† The Liberty Bell was stolen and hidden to save it from the British by members of one of our Philadelphia churches.

† The US Constitution is largely based on the Constitution of Connecticut, which was taken primarily from a sermon series by Thomas Hooker, one of our ministers in Hartford, on "The Liberties of Men".

† We were first to insist on free education for all children. And in the early days of settlement in the East, people were given free land on which to build a new community provided they would in five years have a permanent pastor and provide for free education for all their children.

† Believing that good Christians should be educated Christians, we founded Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, Heidelberg, Elmhurst, Ripon, Carleton, Grinnel, Vanderbilt, Fisk, Pacific School, Prescott, and more than forty other colleges and seminaries.

† The very first missionaries sent from the US to serve in the world came from one of our UCC seminaries in the famous "Haystack Meeting".

† The great movie about the slave ship Amistad is totally entwined with our denomination's heritage.

† UCC hospitals, children's homes, nursing and retirement facilities, disability facilities, adoption programs, and multiple charitable programs expend over $2.7 billion a year to care for and minister to more than a million people.

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