What is the history and philosophy of the United Church of Christ (UCC) that sets it apart from other Christian denominations?
We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome and evangelical courage. We affirm the individual conscience of our members to agree, disagree and wrestle with life’s biggest questions in a spirit of love. The story of The United Church of Christ is this nation’s story. We are the people of the Mayflower. More than 600 of our 5,700 congregations were formed before 1776. Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of predecessor bodies to the United Church of Christ.
As early abolitionists, we came to the aid of the Amistad slave ship captives and founded hundreds of schools across the South after the Civil War. We were the first mainstream church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853), and an openly gay pastor (1972). We were also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810). Our multi-ethnic membership includes persons from many immigrant groups, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves.
Continuing the leadership of The United Church of Christ in social justice, Spring Creek United Church of Christ became the first Christian church in Rockford to declare itself Open and Affirming to all people who seek God’s blessing, regardless of ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or national origin.
Ours is a risk-taking church,
because ours is a risk-taking God.
Is every church in the United Church of Christ Open and Affirming?
In the United Church of Christ, the national settings of the church speak to our local churches, not for them. Therefore, each local church determines whether or not to become Open and Affirming, and each Open and Affirming church adopts its own statement about what that means.
Would Spring Creek church call a person of color, an openly gay or lesbian person or a person with disabilities to be pastor?
Yes. Our church has a clear policy of non-discrimination based on our Open and Affirming Resolution. We would consider any person who met the other criteria for being our Pastor or for serving in any other leadership role in the life of our church.
Are marriage ceremonies between partners of the same gender conducted at Spring Creek Church?
Yes. In accordance with our Open and Affirming Resolution, our Pastor is authorized to officiate at marriage ceremonies for all couples willing to participate in Spring Creek’s process of preparation for commitment to one another. Our church affirms and supports mature, stable, long-term relationships, and celebrates them with God’s blessing.
Does Spring Creek Church offer extravagant welcome to people of all ages and stages of life?
We are all ages, we are singles, couples and families, and we rejoice in that diversity! Our Open and Affirming ministry would not be possible without the leadership of the elders among us. We have an educational ministry that appeals to people of all ages. Leadership roles in the church are open to young and old, newcomers and long-timers alike.
Are the facilities of Spring Creek Church accessible to all?
Our first-floor gathering, worship, meeting, education, childcare, food preparation and restrooms are all totally accessible, as are our outdoor gardens. We intend to make our second floor meeting areas accessible as soon as we can afford to do so. Our sound system is configured to assist the hearing impaired. We publish large-print worship bulletins for persons with visual challenges.
What is Spring Creek's position on political issues involving immigration and citizenship in the local and wider community?
As a church with deep roots in the immigrant experience, the United Church of Christ supports a more just and peaceable response to immigrants to the USA. Our membership reflects the ethnic diversity and citizenship of our local community and we have a history of action toward social justice.
Are the facilities of Spring Creek Church open to all people in the community?
We welcome any person or not-for-profit group that is seeking a place to meet for purposes that are consistent with our commitment to life-affirming work in the world. When applicable, rental fees are assessed in a fair and equitable manner to assist with building costs and property maintenance.