WHAT WE BELIEVE
WHAT WE BELIEVE
First Congregational is a progressive, inclusive, Open and Affirming, Just Peace community of Christian faith in Corvallis.
We're a church where all are welcome - and where all really does mean all. We are real people who care about nurturing love and belonging in the world, most often in the context of Christianity. It isn’t so much what you believe that matters—we don’t like dogma either. We care about community and relationships, and think faith offers something unique and valuable to our historical moment. We strive to stay aligned with the love and movement of God in the world, while creating a safe place for our faith to flourish.
We worship with tradition and innovation, weaving our liturgies and stories together every Sunday morning. We tell stories from the Bible and our lives, knowing that every story is a holy one.
Creating a sanctuary space to listen and slow down allows us to see and hear in new ways - recognizing our own presence in the holiness of the sacred story and the spiritual journey. This practice changes the way we live. Sometimes, it even saves our lives.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable: Humans were made to be in community and should experience spaces where they have 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 the Holy, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all humanity is Beloved of God. 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 are invited to the 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 reminds us it is in the breaking that we are made whole. The pouring of wine reminds us that our lives are best lived in the pouring out of love – in service to others. In receiving the sacrament, you are seen, blessed, and called beloved in a world where too often we are hard-pressed to take the time to see and bless one another, and too unfamiliar with the language of belovedness to remember our identity.
We believe the Bible is a way for Christians to know and interpret the love of God and the call of Jesus in our lives. We are called to take the Bible seriously, but not literally, using it along with the tools of community, experience, scholarship, prayer, and the leading of the Holy Spirit to find the place our gifts meet the needs of the world.
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 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.
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 problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear ... for after all, God is still speaking, ...