In 2013, we took a pretty bold step and changed the name of our church. Since our founding in the 19th century, we'd been known as "First Congregational Church"; and that name had served us well. But we felt we needed to say more clearly WHO we are and WHAT we're about.
For starters, we're a devoted and proud congregation of the UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST -- a historic and daring denomination committed to diversity, peacemaking and a courageous and prophetic spirit. We wanted to make it clear: it's who we are. The UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST!
A particularly powerful witness of the UCC is its decades-long commitment to queer rights and full inclusion in church and cultural life. Like many other UCC churches, we're an OPEN & AFFIRMING congregation, determined to work and organize for LGBTIQ rights, for safe communities and for a loving celebration of our many ways of being human.
Having made that choice -- clearly naming our covenant commitment to the UCC -- we then chose the name PEACE -- celebrating the peace we find in faith and clearly naming our commitment to reconciliation, justice and peacemaking in the world. The moment we made that choice was a huge one in the life and history of our church! And now, you'll know us as PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. The name is growing on us, and the wider community seems to appreciate it too.
In addition to the name change, our 2013 process helped to clarify 8 'core values' at the heart and soul of our mission, ministry and life together. From "extravagant welcome" to "curiosity," from "compassion" to "courage," these values describe the kind of community we want to be and the kinds of Christians we hope to inspire here.