Our History and Mission

Our History

TO GUTEN BIZ ORGANICS

Supporting healthy and productive lifestyles

The United Church of Christ (“UCC” for short) is a Christian denomination formed in 1957 when the Congregationalist Church (founded by the Pilgrims Lakewood UCC is part of a larger denomination call the United Church of Christ (UCC). The United Church of Christ was founded in 1957 when the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged. The denominational roots go all the way back to the Pilgrim and Puritans and include several German traditions as well. For more on the history of the UCC, click here (https://www.ucc.org/who-we-are/about/history/). Lakewood UCC seeks to embody the inclusive values of the larger denomination and is committed to social justice, extravagant welcome, and radical hospitality. We are a non-creedal church and have no tests of faith or specific doctrines. Please contact one of our pastors if you’d like to know more about the beliefs and practices of Lakewood UCC.

Our Mission

“Our mission is to develop our faith in God, enabling us to know the abundant life Christ promised by nourishing our spiritual journey, fostering community, inviting others to join us on the journey, and going forth into the world through service to do justice, love others, and promote peace. We are an Open and Affirming church, respecting all God’s children regardless of race, color, ethnicity, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability.”

The United Church of Christ

TO GUTEN BIZ ORGANICS

Supporting healthy and productive lifestyles

The United Church of Christ (“UCC” for short) is a Christian denomination formed in 1957 when the Congregationalist Church (founded by the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock) and the Evangelical and Reformed Church (founded by German Protestant settlers) decided to merge. The UCC tends to get in the news for championing social justice issues like marriage equality. Our slogan, “God is still speaking,” is generally represented in national marketing materials by a big black comma on a red background. Because, as Gracie Allen said, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” Although UCC churches all share core Christian beliefs, we believe in pitching a big tent—allowing individual congregations the freedom to choose how they want to “be church” together

What Sundays Look Like

Worship beings promptly at 10:15am on Sundays typically with a pre-recorded prelude (pre-service) musical offering. This is a time to get settled, to prepare your worship space, to refill your coffee, and to settle in. Mostly our worship services follow the same order that we used when we were gathering in person. We offer a mixture of pre-recorded and live music. We vary our instruments based on what works best for the song. We post lyrics right on the screen. Many of our people are finding it easier to worship online than in person because there are fewer distractions. Plus, you can worship in your pjs, finish off that bagel, and you don’t have to worry about how you sound when you are singing.

Each Sunday includes music, prayers, and relevant sermon reflecting on a biblical text. We also take time to thank God for the gifts and blessings in our lives and offer ways to give to the church through various online formats. People worshiping are invited to text in their prayers to one of the pastors, or to put them into the chat feature on YouTube. We host a zoom fellowship time every Sunday and encourage people to come and chat for a bit to keep the feeling of community and fellowship going even after worship has ended. We are discovering that many new people are finding our community for the first time due to our new online presence. We hope you’ll join us.

Sermon: The sermon is a 15-minute reflection delivered by the Pastor or a guest preacher that connects our everyday lives with faith and the Bible. We hope what you hear on Sunday will give you something new to think about, help you feel closer to God and a community of faith, and inspire you to live freely, love boldly, and work passionately for justice and peace.

Dress: Please wear whatever is comfortable for you. Some of our folks wear suits and dresses, and some wear jeans and t-shirts. God doesn’t care. Neither do we.

Communion:
In the time of COVID-19: The Lakewood United Church of Christ typically takes communion (sometimes called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist) on the first Sunday of the month. The meanings and understandings of communion have shifted and changed throughout history and across Christian communities. What is important to us about communion is that it is a way of connecting with the living Christ, with our fellow participants, and with the broader global Christian Church. We do not believe there are specific words that must be said or specific people necessary to bless the communion elements. Instead we put our trust in the Holy Spirit to lead us into a special time of connection and communion with God and one another. When we take communion at home it is still very much real communion. The bread is real (or whatever we are using). The cup is real regardless of what is in it. And the presence of the Holy is real, even when we are apart from one another. While it can feel a bit strange the first time, we are finding that our online communion holds as much meaning and importance as our in-person communion did. If you have questions about taking communion in an on-line format, please feel free to reach out to either of our pastors.