UCC History, Theology & Governance
“Our faith is 2,000 years old, but our thinking is not.”
Although the Tehachapi Community Congregational Church is the oldest church building in Tehachapi, built in 1928, we are part of a young denomination called the United Church of Christ. The UCC, as it is known, was “born” in l957 when four predecessor denominations (the Congregational Churches and the Christian Church in the U.S.A. had merged in 1931, and the Reformed Church in the U.S.A. united with the Evangelical Synod in 1934) joined with the hope of coming together to emphasize the unity within the diversity of American mainline Protestantism. Our slogan is: “That They May All Be One.”
A Mindful & Faithful Eating Resolution was spon-sored by our church in 2009. It encourages us to be mindful of where our food comes from, its impacts upon the environment, our health and all living creatures. The resolution was voted into place at the Northern Association meeting of the Southern California Nevada Conference and soon will be presented for conference vote. We are hopeful that it will be addressed nationally by the 2011 UCC Synod.
Follow this link to our denomination’s homepage. You can explore that Website and learn a lot. But if you’re seeking a brief history of the UCC, you’ll find it more quickly by clicking on a Short Course in History.
Follow this link to the Southern California-Nevada Conference’s homepage. This Website, which is still under construction, is beginning to look quite interesting.
` For a summary of the theology of the UCC, click on What We Believe.
“One person, one vote” is the way that our local church decisions have been made, using a representative system of Boards and Committees. If this sounds similar to the American system of democracy, it is: The Pilgrims were our religious forebears, who made their decisions at congregational meetings. Congregational meetings continue to be at the heart of our decision-making; such important matters as the calling of pastors, the passing of a church budget, and the nomination of representatives occur at congregational meetings which are held at least once each year. However, as explained in detail below, we are currently engaged in a new govenance process known as “Team Ministry.”
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS TEAM MINISTRY?
Short answer: Team Ministry is a way of organizing our church’s functions to be more flexible and responsive than our former Boards and Committees
How long will our church use team ministry?
At a congregational meeting on June 26, 2011 a vote was taken to suspend our church bylaws in order to engage in team ministry for one year. At the end of that year, we will assess the pluses and minuses of team ministry and decide whether to drop it, change it, or continue it.
What are ministry teams?
Five teams do the work of the church, as follows:
Inviting Ministry led by Maureen St. John – attracting seekers, welcoming visitors, nurturing relationships (Called to Care), caring for members; currently signed up are Nancy Isaacs, Carol Coleman, Shirley Jensen, Julie and Walt Bulloch.
Transforming Ministry led by Norma McLean – deepening faith, worship experiences, changing lives; currently signed up are Mary Horton, Wayne and Robyn Thompson, Flo Patton.
Sending Ministry led by Clifton Moody – committing to justice, serving others, contributing from our abundance, loving the world, First Friday Program, Special Offerings, Stewardship, Moun-tain Festival; currently signed up are Steve Bullock, Anne Gouert, Laurie and Peter Betts.
Christian Education Ministry led by Esther Bur-dine – relatively unchanged; currently signed up are Jan Roberts, Carol Rush, Amy Trillo, Suzanne Miller-Moody.
Trustees Ministry led by Reagan Woolf -relatively unchanged- currently signed up are Ellen Hays, Eric Trillo, Chris Rush.
In addition to the above five teams, there is a Pastoral Staff Relations Committee whose responsibilities remain unchanged. Members of PSRC are Ron Bemis, Linda Carmichael, Jan Combs, Phyllis Comstock, and Brooke Wendell.
The Leadership Team (akin to the former Council) consists of the leaders of each team, plus the Moderator, the Vice Moderator (if any), and the Pastor. Non-voting members of the Leadership Team include the Secretary of Trustees and the Treasurer of the Church.
(This Page Was Last Up-dated on August 4, 2011.)
Tehachapi Community Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
100 East “E” Street
Tehachapi, CA 93561
Phone: (661) 822-4443
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