February 3, 2013

Cultural Pandering No Boon for Shriveling United Church of Christ

Jesus Christ statue

(Photo credit: Blue Dolphin)

By John Lomperis (@JohnLomperis)

Advocates for churches and Christian institutions reconsidering biblical teaching on sexual morality frequently claim that such cultural accomodationism is “needed” if Christian communities are to have any hope of surviving in an America whose secular culture is increasingly intolerant of moral boundaries for sexual expression (beyond consent).

If one is going to take such arguments seriously, it makes sense to consider how well that has worked in the denomination that has most prominently pioneered enthusiastic abandonment of biblical values on marriage and sex.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) attracted heaps of polarized public attention in 2005 with its embrace of a strong pro-same-sex-marriage stand, for church as well as society. But this was really a sadly unsurprising development in a denomination whose leaders had by that point already harshly excluded evangelicals (within the limits of the UCC’s congregational polity), aggressively promoted secular sexual values, and even allowed local congregations to dually affiliate with the Unitarian Universalist Association for many years.

UCC denominational officials defended high-profile homosexuality-affirming actions in the middle of the previous decade by, among other things, boasting of a presumably controversy-driven increase in traffic to the find-a-church section of the UCC website. To paraphrase this argument: “You naysayers protested, but just you wait and see all the people who will come flocking to our churches as a result of this!” In a rather similar vein, Chicago United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck defended her recent promotion of same-sex marriage in Illinois (in which she notably misrepresented the UMC’s official position), by framing it as something that will attract non-Christians to attend United Methodist congregations.

So how has such pandering worked out for the UCC?

As of this writing, the UCC stands poised to finally dip below the benchmark of one million members, which is less than half the size it had when it was founded (by merger) in 1962.

According to the most recently available annual report of the denomination’s own Pension Board, the denomination has shed a whopping 37 percent of its congregations since that year, and just in the first decade of the new millennium, it saw a decline of 35 percent in membership, 41 percent in church-school attendance, and 12 percent in the number of congregations.

And prospects for the future do not look much brighter. Contrary to optimistic predictions by progressives that departing conservatives would be replaced by an influx of sexually liberal newcomers, the UCC Pension Board report admits that “the rate of decline is accelerating.” Furthermore, of the remaining congregations, over 40 percent have annual budgets smaller than the “bare minimum for sustaining full-time ministerial leadership and the minimum necessary for mission and ministry.”

This will inevitably take an accelerating toll on beloved, generations-old denominational institutions. Last month, the final convocation was delivered at Bangor Theological Seminary, one of the UCC’s seven seminaries. Last year, in the face of falling enrollments and growing financial pressures, the trustees unanimously decided to cease the seminary’s operations as a degree-granting school after this June, just one year shy of its 200th birthday. So far, there has been talk of continuing the institution as a shadow-of-its-former-self theological center, but the details of this are still undecided.

At least some UCC liberals drew the line at John Thomas, the UCC’s crusading liberal president and general minister for most of the last decade, carrying on an affair with a much-younger subordinate staffer, for whom he eventually divorced his wife. But that is apparently not too much for one of the UCC’s remaining seminaries, Chicago Theological Seminary, where Thomas remains a role model for the denomination’s clergy-in-training as Senior Advisor to the President and Visiting Professor in Church Ministries.

This is a striking fate for a denomination once considered “mainline” in American society. More of the now “sideline” denomination’s seminaries and other institutions will probably shutter their doors within the next decade or two. In all likelihood, I will personally never drive past the construction site for a new UCC congregation. Within my lifetime, I expect to see the 40-year-old Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) eclipse the UCC in membership and worship attendance. It is questionable whether or not the UCC will even survive the twenty-first century. Perhaps it may try to buy some time through merging with the Disciples of Christ, the Metropolitan Community Churches, or even (why not?) the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The spiritual and existential end of a Christian denomination with such a rich heritage should drive any disciple of Jesus to mourn.

In my own denomination, the United Methodist Church, a very vocal minority repeatedly claims that UCC has set a courageous, future-building example for us to follow. Recently, some voices have argued that if non-mainline evangelical churches are to survive among younger generations of Americans, they too must move their approach to sexual morality closer to that of the UCC.

In light of the above, the best response this young adult can offer is: Seriously???

42 Responses to Cultural Pandering No Boon for Shriveling United Church of Christ

  1. J S Lang says:

    The numbers of the UCC’s members and congregations may be even worse than the data indicates. Several declining UCCs have merged with other mainline congregations (usually Disciples of Christ) to form “union” or “federated” congregations. So, Trinity UCC with a membership of 200 might merge with Good Samaritan DC with a membership of 150 to form Redeemer Union Church. If both denominations count Redeemer and its members, then technically no congregation was shut down, and each denomination has actually GAINED members. I have a friend who attends a union church, and he asked his pastor about this, and the pastor seems to think my guess is correct. I know for sure that the UCC and DC merged their mission boards not long ago and may soon be merging others. Given the decline in the mainlines, we’re probably not far from a United Church of America.

  2. Mark says:

    Written in response to recent actions by self-styled illuminati in United Methodism:

    To my church and all my faithful disciples,
    Greetings, in self love!
    I sympathize with the inner conflict you must be feeling about all those rigid and insensitive rules and doctrinal positions recorded in the antiquated Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. I felt the same way when Moses duped the Hebrews into believing that God miraculously etched His Ten Commandments onto slabs of stone. I knew then that it would only be a matter of time before those ten commandments would multiply into a library full of silly, ridiculous, hurtful, inhuman, cruel and arbitrary rules and regulations meant solely to give more power to the priesthood. Those rules were as rigid and arbitrary then as they are now. Such rules kept God’s people peculiar and Hebrew society closed to all except those who believed in the God of Abraham, and obeyed His Will. Following those rules ultimately resulted in the destruction of Israel. Following them now will result in a similar fate for our society, unless we are wise enough to pierce the veil of fiction embodied in the Old Covenant as well as the so-called New Covenant and come to an understanding of what God really wanted us to know concerning His plan for our pleasure, desire and eternal bliss.
    We must not allow God’s Holy Word to contradict our Social Principles! As ministers of the priesthood of believers, we must remember that our creator God did not build His Holy Church. He did not build it! We did! What we do in our churches or in our society is our business, not His! We are all saved and everyone who has ever or will ever live will be in paradise with Him when He returns. Everyone! Jesus was speaking metaphorically when He said He will return as our judge. He wouldn’t judge us. He loves us too much. Now He is God. And God is Love. God’s Love has no room for eternal damnation. Since there is no judgement and no damnation, and since God’s Laws were fulfilled when Jesus came, we are now free to be whatever we choose to be because “we are who we are” just like ” I Am Who I Am”. The Bible tells us that God abides in us. This Has to mean that We, like Him, are all gods, individually, and collectively, we comprise the collective god. There are no other gods before us. We shall never refer to anyone or any behavior as sinner or sin. We shall worship ourselves in our own way, according to our own rules. We shall rewrite our history, ignore the wisdom of our ancestors and make our own way. We shall kill when it is expedient (especially those who have not yet been born), steal when we can get away with it , express our sexuality however we choose and in the manner our urges require without boundaries, lie to prevent unwanted consequences for ourselves or others (especially when we are in positions of power and leadership), desire all things that make us feel good and that meet our needs, especially if they were acquired by others’ hard work. We bless ourselves. We keep ourselves. We make our faces shine on ourselves and are gracious to ourselves. We look upon ourselves with favor and give ourselves peace.

    But, first things first! All like minded disciples of mine must unite in my cause. We must re-write the Book of Discipline now, based on the dogma of liberal post modern ethics supported by the most recent findings and conclusions of social scientific research. We must accept that so-called “Holy Scripture” is simply a collection of ancient stories, myths and legends of the same genre as the sacred writings of many other civilizations and written by men who were ignorant of the basic scientific truths that every modern day child knows by the age of ten. Change is inevitable. It must happen now before our civilization crumbles and we turn to the so-called Will of God and His Truth to save us. We must not let human reason be contaminated by uninformed ancient mythology. Remember, we are gods, so, Unite! Redact! Fight! Rewrite!

    Thus it is written. Thus it is done.

    In My Self Love,
    The prince of the air, pastor of the first unified church of the apostacy

  3. John S. says:

    The arguments about increasing membership, relevance and outreach are just smoke and mirrors. The real goal is to change the stated positions of the church to the “correct” positions regardless of effect. The promised positive effects of this change are merely tools to aid in the sale. They are most effective where theological instruction and bible study are at their weakest. What was yesterday’s sermon? What was taught in your Sunday School class? What percentage of your congregation attends SS or a bible study?

  4. Sandy N says:

    The UCC voted to change its constitution’s reference to “heavenly Father” to “triune God.” Were they expecting feminists to stampede into the churches after that?

  5. bill krill says:

    To suppose the drop in UCC membership is a direct result of their stance on homosexuality is quite a reach. The Christian church has historical fluctuations in attendance every 100 years or so. In addition, the church is always behind the curve when it comes to keeping up with culture changes. While the worlds obviously still needs Christ, quibbling about homosexuality is just the diversion the devil needs to further reduce membership in the church. It’s about love, and mainline churches that miss this are missing the genuine central issue on why folks are not flocking to their doors and staying in their pews. Let’s divide ourselves conservative vs liberal and just blame it on homosexuality; yea, that will work.

    • Mark says:

      The essay argues that the unbiblical stance on homosexual behavior is simply symptomatic of a much larger problem having to do with cultural accomodationism prompted, in part, by ignorance or disregard of historical Christian teaching. The author is not blaming the decline exclusively on homosexuality.

      Churches that affirm libertine teachings on sexuality are also more likely to dismiss other Biblical teachings, eventually reaching a point where people in the pew begin asking each other what’s the point. The church then functions mainly as a social or political enterprise, providing an environment where people may worship what the apostle Paul would have called “the unknown god.”

    • Aaron says:

      35% in 10 years ain’t a cycle, it’s a collapse. The bottom line is that people don’t like fakes. Everyone knows Christianity preaches against homosexuality. Even the unchurched know this. Changing your church’s stance on this shows that you don’t take your beliefs seriously. Why would I wake up on Sunday morning and go give money to a bunch of fakes?

      The closing of Bangor Theological Seminary is a blessing to humanity. It produces graduates who destroy believers, and who try to con non-believers. The grads don’t believe in these fairy tales anymore, but they need to make the remaining members think that they do. And the grads need to make the non-believers think there is something for them at church, when the grads know that there isn’t.

      The UMC better get to purging if it wants to survive as anything more than an organization focused around milking the clueless elderly out of their savings.

      • Ted Martin says:

        But they will not…get to purging. I think denominations have overbuilt themselves and need to cull many more churches and even entire denominations,

    • Adrian C says:

      “Quibbling” is hardly the right word to refer to an issue that the church has been consistent on for two thousand years. Christians can disagree about whether baptism ought to be by immersion or sprinkling. Disagreeing about what constitutes marriage – NOT quibbling.

      Your flippant “it’s about love” can be used to justify pretty much anything. If “it’s about love,” then it’s OK for a married guy to keep a mistress – or twenty – or have five wives – or a nine-year-old boy concubine. God in his wisdom knew that “it’s about love” was a bit too vague and potentially self-serving a guideline, which is why we got the Ten Commandments and other laws. Jesus did say “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    • Jim Martel says:

      You’re misguided. Injecting homosexuality into the church is precisely what the devil wants. Lower the churches moral standards will alienate families to where until only homosexuals attend. ONA churches are doomed for failure just as the historical record shows. Sensible parents don’t want to subject their children to that lifestyle.

  6. polistra says:

    Really shouldn’t be surprising. Homosexuals are always about 2% of total population. The mass media, operating under full control by the 2%, has led squishy ‘progressives’ to think that everyone is homosexual or potentially so.

    Churches and politicians, believing this nonsense, work very hard to alienate the 98% in order to attract the 2%. They shouldn’t be surprised to find their popularity dropping. When you repel all your potential clients, you should feel lucky that you still have ANY clients!

    • interested observer says:

      “…everyone is homosexual or potentially so.” Yes, even in colleges students are required (if they hold any offices of the student organization) to take classes exploring their own gender and orientation. These classes are offered to all students, but the student body officers are required to take them!!! What could this do to a shy young person who finds it much easier to relate to their same sex, although does not have any same sex attraction? It’s a slippery slope.

      • Jenn says:

        Sigh….no one can be talked into being gay. For God’s sake! Can I talk you into changing the color of your skin? It is not a choice. And yes, let’s vilify the educational system because if things like FACTS don’t fall in line with your belief system then they must be dismissed. Quite eating your time trying to feel morally superior and take care of someone in need- like Christ instructed.

        • Stephen Sponsler says:

          Can a leopard change his spots or a tiger his stripes. Sigh..how many, including clergy (of any faith system around the world as well as non-faith system) have set out or succeeded in suicide due to the pressures to be something un-natural to other than what God had created put on by both society and churches themselves. My understanding is that the UCC looks to be safe-haven from prejudices and for each person to grow as God would have them in Christ regardless of appearances, “You judge by outward appearances; but judge with Righteous Judgement’.

    • Stephen Sponsler says:

      Alienate the 98%? That 2% is possibly much larger than statistics show, but it is they who have been alienated their entire lives and have no place to feel accepted in the world that has been hard-nosed into going by the words of bigoted hypocrites and money hungry mongers whom nunger to line their pockets rather than for Righteous of God in Christ. There is no saying how much of the original Hebrew and Aramaic Line of Understanding was garnered for political reasons due to lack of understanding and political reasons as far back as the king james version. It hopefully isn’t a ‘mystery’ that those big wig conservative like Pat Robertson and Falwell who gathered large following flat out lied and their lies have been passed into generations and still exists today as nothing short of ‘hate’ masquerading as ‘biblical teaching’ by proxy of misinterpretation, nonetheless ill-informed opinions. .

  7. Dennis N Arashiro says:

    “even (why not?) the Unitarian Universalist Association.” Why not, indeed! That would be the inevitable result of progressivism and inclusiveness. Once one wavers on any aspect of a revealed “truth”, the whole house of cards begins to fall. That’s explains my spiritual journey and why I’m a UU. I now spend my time making up my own games with the fallen cards.

  8. Doug says:

    Let’s turn the question around. Do you really believe that with the drastic membership losses we’ve seen in the Roman Catholic Church (masked by gains due only to immigration) or the losses now being suffered by the Southern Baptist Convention that so-called orthodoxy will bring back any of those UCC members? So you want more cowbell.

    My guess is that the UCC is largely a non-Hispanic white denomination that more than likely has had a much lower birth rate among its members than the population in general and has seen some losses of its young people into the “none” category. There are almost certainly many factors at work here.

    • Bill Hocter says:

      Doug-There probably are numerous factors involved in declining Church attendance. However, the important point about the article (I’m Catholic BTW) is that it presents a bit of statistical evidence that changing your moral stances in order to garner popularity has in general not been a winning strategy for Churches. It’s a lsoing ethical move too, but that isn’t news. I might like it better if Cathoicism were attracting more converts, but not at the price of it ceasing to be the Church and faith that I love.

      • Doug says:

        Who said that the UCC and other more liberal denominations have changed their moral stances simply to garner popularity? Some in those denominations may have had the absurd idea that people would come flooding in as a result of the changes, but, nevertheless, I think the evidence clearly indicates that these churches have acted out of conviction. You may disagree with their positions, but their convictions are no less sincere than yours or those of your church.

      • J S Lang says:

        Having worked for one of the mainline’s national agencies, I know it is definitely true that liberal churches really do think they are doing the right thing out of conviction, not to gain popularity or (obviously) gain members. However, determining “the right thing” occurs under tremendous pressure from groups that are loud, obnoxious, and well-organized – first the feminists, later the gays, then pacifists, enviro-loons, Israel-haters, etc. The pressure groups share the bureaucrats’ unconcern for membership figures, just as they share the disdain for the Bible and Christian tradition. The bureaucrats wimp out under the pressure, then do the mental gymnastics to convince themselves they are doing the will of God.

      • Stephen Sponsler says:

        However, is it a ‘fact’ that UCCs ‘stance was to change a moral stance in order to garner popularity’? Is their proof of that? Look at the Episcopal Church and their openly ‘gay clergy. There are sectors across all the churches, though it might be invisible and even unknown to it’s members that have the same position as UCC (only as an example as it is being cited, and that is in ref. to individual members but not necessarily that particular church itself). All the churches across the boards are losing membership aren’t they? From my readings on line, not all the churches in UCC hold these same lines of thinking. Some might well attend because they see larger amounts of either hypocrisy or fault exegesis of Scripture in the large mass produced assemblies and are tired of wanting to try to chase down the perfect church that doesn’t exist except of course in the Body of Christ. The bright side? Everything Christ side in his parables and flat out statements continues to hold true ..

    • Mark says:

      Interesting point.

      All churches have lost members, but the ones doing better tend to be more orthodox in their beliefs. Chesterton said that the purpose of an open mind, like an open mouth, is to eventually come down on something hard. Orthodox faith is more apt to provide that.

      While liberal religious institutions receive less scrutiny owing to a sympathetic media, our culture that has been conditioned to be suspicious of organized religion in general.

      Quantitative statistics indicate that the media/Holllywood/large segments of academia have antipathy toward historic Christian faith. Their tremendous power to influence has taken hold in a big way.

  9. […] Lomperis at the Institute of Religion and Democracy has written a convincing, tightly-argued piece that old-line Protestant churches that compromise their allegiance to biblical moral truth are […]

  10. I could go into detail about the United Church of Christ’s New Century Hymnal here and how singing from it might want to make someone want to leave the UCC, but I won’t. All I’ll say is that Jesus Christ is no longer ‘King’ of kings and ‘Lord’ of lords in this book–they have removed both terms. Not even well-known Gospel Hymns like ‘Blessed assurance’ and ‘Old Rugged Cross’ were left alone. And just try singing their version of ‘Crown Him with many crowns’ (#301) without wanting to throw up. Hopefully Spirit-led congregants will think about this when trying to worship in a UCC congregation. The UCC is killing itself with liberal theology, and that’s all there is to it.

    • J S Lang says:

      You forgot to mention “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” which would win the prize as Hymn Most Hated By Liberals, who apparently are such kneejerk pacifists that they can’t grasp that this beloved hymn is referring to spiritual warfare, an important New Testament concept (also the great hymn tune ever composed).

      I looked up the “revised” version of “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” Yeah, that is really awful. When something is altered that much, better they had just ditched the whole thing. It’s as bad as the newer hymns, the ones that show that being “inclusive” apparently requires having no feel at all for poetic words worth singing.

      They included one “sexist” hymn, “Father Almighty, Bless us With Your Blessing” – apparently it’s OK because it was written by a Unitarian.

      • I didn’t mention ‘Onward, Christian soldiers’ because the UCC isn’t the only denomination to delete it from their hymnal. The current Evangelical Lutheran (not to be confused with the Missouri Synod Lutherans), Presbyterian (and this includes the hymnal the Presbys are set to release around June!), and Disciples of Christ hymnals do not have this hymn. And the Methodists attempted to delete it from the 1989 hymnal, but there was a huge uprising in the church over it, and the committee voted at the last minute to include it. Most Baptists use nondenominational hymnals that are hugely conservative in theology and still include ‘Onward…’, Stand up for Jesus’, ‘Fight the good fight’, ‘Soldiers of Christ arise’ and a few others. ‘Onward’ is a favorite of my family.

      • J S Lang says:

        I have a friend who is a UM pastor (he’s a Christian), and he said his congregation got REAL worked up when they heard that “Onward” was going to be dropped. I’m happily an ex-UM, but still glad they chose to retain the hymn,also “Soldiers of Christ, Arise,” although they dumped “Fight the Good Fight” and “The Son of God Goes Forth to War.” Give them a few more years and they inevitably do whatever the Episcs do.

  11. […] Cultural Pandering No Boon for Shriveling United Church of Christ (juicyecumenism.com) […]

  12. […] Advocates for churches and Christian institutions reconsidering biblical teaching on sexual morality frequently claim that such cultural accomodationism is “needed” if Christian communities are to have any hope of surviving in an America whose secular culture is increasingly intolerant of moral boundaries for sexual expression. …. Click here for full story […]

  13. […] Writing at Juicy Ecumenism, John Lomperis shows how The United Church of Christ (UCC) sought to revive its dying membership by taking a liberal, unbiblical position on homosexuality in order to woo displaced homosexuals. The leaders of the UCC said it would raise their membership and revive their ailing congregations. What was the result? Lomperis says: […]

  14. Jamie von Grabow says:

    I went through the candiacy process of the UCC and I praise God they saw me as not a good fit for being a pastor in their denomination. The UCC of my 60’s childhood was worship centered and affirming of Jesus Christ as absolute Lord and King. The UCC of today has lost its sense of where the “high road” is – the right fork on faith’s spiritual journey where James Dunn’s soul freedom is an absolute. Each man is responsible for his own judgement before God, and one church grappling with another church for secular moral righteousness tarnishes the very purity of the kingdom for us all. However, may they find ultimate peace on their journey down that other road where the only spiritual awakening is retreat.

  15. MW says:

    Food for the fire. Our church has been a UCC church. We have been invaded by their ongoing mantras for activists causes, from anti-israel stands, gay promotion, trans promotion,… Since we were small and the UCC basically left us alone except for their requests for dues, we ignored it. Well the sleeping dog awoke to bite us, when our male minister showed up in partial drag and makeup to a council meeting along with the UCC regional minister to announce he was now a she and wanted us to be a transgender leader in the State and Nation. (Our congregation wasn’t even “Open and Affirming”). We were stunned at both the announcement from this man (up until 6 months earlier happily married with his second wife and second set of children) and the fact that the UCC regional minister who was supposed to represent the church as a whole, decided a surprise party was the best way to handle this. Needless to say, we terminated our call of that minister and are voting to leave the UCC next month. We prefer to study and worship God, not chase the media demons of the world. Good riddence UCC.

  16. […] denomination traces its roots back to Puritan colonists and counts 979,239 members as of 2014, a decline of more than half since […]

  17. Ted Martin says:

    The “super liberals” whom the UCC might hope to “pick up” , probably do not see the need to go to any church, save possibly the Unitarian Universalist Churches.

  18. […] Liberal theology is destroying denominations like the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC predicts its membership will decline 80 percent by 2045. My colleague Jeff Walton reported that “UCC members will drop precipitously, from 1.1 million to just under 200,000 adherents” in less than three decades. The UCC is among the most liberal denominations in America. I wrote about numerous examples of liberalism in the UCC, including here, here, here, and here. […]

  19. […] Zeitgeist that they are actually just the cultural ethos dressed up in religious vestments (e.g., the United Church of Christ). Chesterton was right that only dead fish swim with the current. Without guilt I admit that I am […]

  20. […] Zeitgeist that they are actually just the cultural ethos dressed up in religious vestments (e.g., the United Church of Christ). Chesterton was right that only dead fish swim with the current. Without guilt I admit that I am […]

  21. […] Zeitgeist that they are actually just the cultural ethos dressed up in religious vestments (e.g., the United Church of Christ). Chesterton was right that only dead fish swim with the current. Without guilt I admit that I am […]

  22. David Popham says:

    This is an amazing article. Inflammatory, pointing the spot light on another denomination while ignoring the wrongs of your own. Amazing indeed. Of course everything you said here is true: up to a point. Beyond that point you remain silent. It is true that a former General Minister and President of the national offices did have an affair with a person about 5 years younger than he. It is also true that he was brought up on charges of sexual misconduct and handled according the the policies and procedures of the UCC Manual on Ministry. It is true that we have dipped below 1 million in membership. It is also true that at our time of merger we were only 2 million strong, meaning that since 1962 we have shrunk by 1 million people. It is also true that since 1964 the UMC has shrunk by 4.5 million members. It is true that in 2005 we voted to support same gender marriages. It is also true that in 1985 we voted to be Open and Affirming. It is not true we took these votes to as cultural accommodations. We took these votes as a way of responding to the God who leads us to justice opportunities and broken lives. Now most damaging for you is your assessment of our Find A Church webpage. I’m not sure what you might have been drinking or smoking, but what you purport to appear on that page is a lie. Here is what the page say:

    What does “Accessible” mean in the church listing?

    This indicates the location of a UCC congregation that is accessible to persons who have a physical disability.

    What does “ONA” mean in the church listing?

    ONA churches have adopted an “Open and Affirming” covenant welcoming all people, without regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, into the life and ministry of the congregation. However, many UCC congregations that for various reasons have not adopted an ONA covenant are nevertheless welcoming and safe communities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

    The Open and Affirming Coalition also provides information about ONA colleges and campus ministries, health and human service ministries, national ministries, online and virtual congregations, seminaries, conferences, and associations within the United Church of Christ.

    If you want the UMC to remain gay free that is your business. But slandering another denomination? Dude, you are doing the work of the Devil.

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