Who Are We?
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Lori Rivera 2
We are the United Church
We're a Santa Cruz congregation with roots that go back to the 19th century, yet we're reaching for the future with courage and vision! As part of the United Church of Christ, we're a boldly progressive church, with deep commitments to peacemaking, justice and diversity.
Here in California, that means we're in communion with the Northern California Nevada Conference of the UCC. With churches from Fresno to the Oregon border, we bear witness to God's extravagant welcome and passion for justice. The NCNC also includes a lively outdoor camping program for all ages.
Our heritage in the UCC marks us as a 'congregational' church -- governed and shaped not by bishops or hierarchies but by the discernment and goalsetting of the congregation. To belong here is to participate in a lively democratic process!
We are Open and Affirming
Within the UCC, we're an "Open & Affirming" congregation. In 1997, we set out on a deliberate journey to full inclusion for LGBTQ+ friends and their allies. This means that queer members are leaders at Peace, and pastors, and fully involved participants at every level. We share, with other "ONA" churches, a commitment to overcoming bigotry and homophobia in the church and, more broadly, in the culture.
We are COPA
In 2003, we were a founding institution in the creation of COPA: Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action. Now, with 23 other institutions (churches, synagogues, mosques, non-profits, schools and unions), we act together for meaningful justice on the Central Coast. COPA is one important expression of our commitment to a multi-faith, broad-based embodiment of compassion and justice in our time.
We are a Green Church
We're a Green Church, striving to cherish the Earth and make choices that protect our environment. We encourage all who use our facilities to Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle to limit the amount of waste that we produce. In early 2018, we went solar!
We are Decidedly Christian
In all these ways (and so many more), we are decidedly Christian: seeking to follow in the steps of a boldly loving, generously human, resolutely defiant, faithfully forgiving Christ! We allow for all kinds of interpretation where Jesus and God are concerned. In fact, we insist on it. And in the mix of ideas, in the to and fro of community life, we find Jesus alive and on the move. Always by our side. Always out in front.