ABOUT THE UCC
The United Church of Christ, or UCC, is a Christian Denomination established in 1958, with roots going back to the Pilgrims. The UCC is not a hierarchical church. We have no bishops or cardinals. We exist in different "settings," and all of these settings live in covenant with each other. This image might be helpful for some. One time folks were joining the church, and one of them said, "It's like we are marrying each other." The most basic setting of the UCC is the local church, comprised of people living in covenant with Christ and each other. Local churches then gather into Associations: groups of geographically-related churches. Our Association is the Living Water Association, which you can learn more about here . . .
Associations then gather into a setting known as a Conference. Some Conferences, like the Maine Conference UCC, have a state-based geographical boundary. Other Conferences encompass much more territory. Learn more about the Maine Conference UCC here . . .
The national setting of the UCC is the General Synod, which meets every two years. The Synod itself is comprised of delegates from around the country; from all of the other settings! We also have national-level staff and national-level covenanted ministries. Learn more about the UCC here . . .
Each of the settings (and this is critical to understand) speaks "to, but not for" the other settings. That is, the national setting may recommend something to the local churches or Associations, but they cannot require us to do it. (You can see why there are still many UCC churches in New England!). Because of this, we have been called "The denomination of soft verbs." We recommend. We suggest. We counsel. Also, for this same reason, we've been called, "A heady, exasperating mix." Amen! And, remembering our covenant with each other in Christ, we wouldn't have it any other way.