ST. STEPHEN'S UCC
An Open and Accepting Community
St. Stephen's UCC is open to worshippers of all ages and backgrounds. We lead our congregation in worship, deepening the connection to God, understanding the teachings of Christ, and ultimately to a vibrant faith.
We have a long, proud history of serving the people of Harrisonburg, VA. Through the dedication of our leadership, staff members and volunteers, we are committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and are here to spread His message.
United Church of Christ:
WHO WE ARE
Our congregation is a member of the denomination called "United Church of Christ".
That can mean different things to different people.
Our congregational heritage is that of the Evangelical and Reformed Church. We joined in the formation of UCC in 1957.
Our logo includes the words from Jesus's last prayer commending his disciples to God's care: "That they may all be one."
The following is how we, as the U.C.C., understand who we are. It is called the UCC Statement of Faith.
United Church of Christ
Statement of Faith
We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who
guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of
faith where there is a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God,
engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized 'belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'
No matter who –no matter what – no matter where we are on life's journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity
or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith.
All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament
of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes
the community's promise of 'love, support and care' for the baptized – and we promise that we won't take it back –
no matter where your journey leads you.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ's table for the sacrament of
Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ's sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ's presence among us along with a 'cloud of witnesses' – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. "That they may all be one." (John 17:21) "In
essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity," These UCC mottos survive because they touch
core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its
over-arching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological
preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, love and unity in the midst of our
diversity are our greatest assets.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth's
resources. 'To believe is to care; to care is to do.'
We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church. As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles,
God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted.
We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to
explore and to hear ... because, God is still speaking, ...!