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The United Church of Christ
First Congregational UCC is associated with the United Church of Christ, a Protestant denomination with congregations across the United States. Each UCC congregation is formed of an individual community of believers bound together by a common desire to know God. Authority and the daily life of the church are a shared responsibility among believers. Because UCC congregations are “locally owned and operated,” there is diversity among them.
What all UCC churches hold in common is a belief in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ and the Holy Spirit; in God's unconditional love and grace; that scripture serves as a living testimony of faith; and that God is still speaking to us here and now. How those faith values are lived out in worship, ministry and mission may differ greatly among communities and cultures.
First Congregational UCC embraces the diversity and culture of the modern world while remaining grounded in a long tradition of faith dating back to 1850. Together we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our community, promote hope and peace in the world, and honor one another with God's love and grace. We welcome and help one another along as our spiritual paths bring us together.
First Congregational UCC is a vibrant church with a clear mission, identity and vision. The United Church of Christ participates in the “free-church” tradition, meaning that our whole membership shares the responsibility of the continuing life of the church. Elected leaders from the congregation are assembled into a Church Council, and in carrying out the mission of First Congregational, Council is supported by two groups, the church staff and lay-led ministry teams.
The UCC has no central authority or hierarchy, but our shared authority and mutual responsibility extends to regional and national forums. Relationships between churches help us to achieve this wider mission. One important implication of this way of thinking is that the national setting of the United Church of Christ can speak to, but not for the local church.
Congregations choose to be in relationship with one another, recognizing that there are ministries and missions we can do better together than alone. Each local church is joined with other UCC churches in a region called an “association.” Associations, in turn, are bound in covenant relationship with one another and come together as a "conference." Conferences join together in the national setting of the United Church of Christ and are represented there by delegates who gather every two years to do the work of the The General Synod of the United Church of Christ. In each setting where governance, ministry and mission occur, the church strives to balance representation. We are united and uniting in every aspect of our covenant relationship as we strive to be the Body of Christ in work, worship and fellowship.
|Wisconsin Conference||Northeast Wisconsin Association|
The foundation of the United Church of Christ is this covenant relationship. We are a church that is bound together by covenant—our covenant relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit; our covenant relationship with one another in the local church; our covenant relationship among local churches, associations and conferences; and covenant relationships with national church and global ministries.