OUR STORY

History of the United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ was formed in1957 with the union of two Protestant denominational strands: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these was, in turn, the result of a union of two earlier denominations. Our denomination claims over 900,000  to 1.2 million members in over 5,000 local congregations. All members of the United Church of Christ are called to minister to others and to participate as equals in the common worship of God. Our ordained clergy encourage us, challenge  us and enable our ministry as Christians, rather than doing the work of ministry for us.


Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.


We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

Tradition



From the local wood that was felled to make our pews. to the loved ones who are buried in our cemetery, we value being surrounded by our history. And we also believe that our traditions can link us with the unknown future. We are curious to see how God will call us to interpret our faith and mission, blending our past with the future, as we grow more faithful in the new millennium..



History of the Smyrna United Church of Christ




Smyrna Church  was formed in 1891 by homesteaders in the Yoder area. Today, some of their descendants, as well as other area Christians, worship together in our historic sanctuary. What ties us together is a respect for diverse religious beliefs, the right of each person to come to her or his own conclusions about God and Christ, the need to study and worship together, and a common desire to act for the well-being of others. We value our traditions, but are also open to the spirit's ongoing revelation --- evidenced by our inclusive language and openness to diversity in church leadership.  As the UCC says:  “Our faith may be 2000 years old, but our thinking is not!”


The name "Smyrna" comes from Revelation 2:9 making reference to being "poor in material wealth but rich in spirit".