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Ethics and Community

Community Organization

The United Church of Christ combines the organizational styles of Congregationalism and Presbyterianism. Congregationalism provides the basis for local congregations, who select their ministers and handle their own affairs. Presbyterianism organizes relationships between member churches, in which the General Synod is the highest body.


United Church of Christ congregations rely on both ordained and lay ministers. They work in a wide variety of ministries, from pastoral care for the local congregation to the UCC's Global Ministries.

Principles of Moral Thought and Action

The United Church of Christ places the highest value on the pursuit of Christian unity, on toleration and freedom, and on the belief that Christians are called to build a world of peace and justice according to the divine plan.

Vision for Society

The United Church of Christ is firmly rooted in the 17th-century Reformed Protestant tradition, which held that the church exists in order to carry out the plan of God on earth. In the UCC vision, the plan of God is one of justice and peace.

Gender and Sexuality

The first female Congregationalist ordained in New England was Amelia Frost, in 1894. In 1985, the General Synod adopted a resolution welcoming gay and lesbian Christians, however, each congregation has the right to affirm or deny the resolution.