Danville Congregational Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ. Our denomination marks as its beginning the year 1957, when it completed a process of conversation resulting in the union of two denominations: the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. Both denominations were animated by an urgent desire for freedom of worship, a respect for diversity while remaining committed to a covenant, and an eagerness for spiritual guidance that would foster individual engagement in the wider community. Our own congregation’s roots are in the Congregational tradition, which can be traced back to the Pilgrims and Puritans who settled New England.
UCC churches have a profound respect for each other, but they are not bound by hierarchical control. The covenant we share allows individual churches to be “informed but not instructed,” able to care and respond in unity in the world, but with a regard for divergent voices. Each local church is autonomous in matters of its leadership. Each calls and supports its own pastors, manages its own resources, and creates and sustains its own liturgical patterns and practices. Yet we draw strength from our covenantal connections with other congregations and with the wider church. Indeed, the UCC takes as its motto Jesus’ prayer, “that they may all be one” (John 17:21).
In the UCC, we emphasize personal faith, guided by the Holy Spirit and scripture, as well as the social responsibility that derives from Jesus’ teaching that we are to minister to others. The UCC is a prophetic denomination in many ways—in the quest for religious freedom, in the struggle against slavery, in the furthering of access to higher education, in the ordination of African-Americans, women, and gay and lesbian people, and more. To learn more about the groundbreaking ways of our denomination, check out UCC Firsts.