What is the United Church of Christ (UCC)?
We are a congregation of the United Church of Christ, a Christian denomination known for its deep commitment to seeking justice in the world. Please learn more about our denomination by visiting ucc.org and by reading below.
Some hallmarks of faith among Christians in the UCC include:
We believe in the triune God. Creator, resurrected Christ, who is the 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. God wants every person to belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved. Sometimes this is in a Christian community, like ours, and sometimes it is in another faith tradition. At the First Parish Truro most of us self-identify as Christians, but we still celebrate all earnest and benevolent expressions of faith, and welcome persons of every faith (or no faith) to worship with or alongside us.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey. We at First Parish Truro believe in providing resources for people at every stage to grow deeper in their spiritual lives.
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. (In other words, deepening your spiritual life is a fruitful and valuable enterprise.)
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. At First Parish Truro all people, from babies to centenarians, people of faith or no faith, baptized or not, and of various abilities and backgrounds are all welcome to come to the table for Communion. There is no need to doubt your place at the table. Christ is the host, so the invitation is wide open.
We believe the United Church of Christ (UCC) is called to be a united and uniting church. “That they may all be one.” (John 17:21) “In essentials–unity, in non-essentials–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 overarching 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. This means that you can join us at First Parish Truro and find in the pews people who disagree with one another on some issues of theology and ethics. We are not a church where everyone thinks alike. But even when we differ in viewpoints we commit to loving one another, and treating each other with dignity and respect.
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.’ Though the First Parish Truro congregation meets for worship mostly in the summer months, when Truro is bustling with vacationers, visitors, and other activity, our commitment to the town is year-round. We make our historic building available for town cultural events, and our congregants volunteer and serve the town in important ways throughout the year.
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 of today to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted. At First Parish Truro, we believe Jesus’ counter-cultural gospel is still relevant today, over 2000 years later: community trumps isolation, hospitality overcomes fear, and the mystery of God compels us to treat every thing in Creation with dignity and respect.
We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear how God is calling us to serve a world in need.