Our Faith & Identity
Our Identity, Faith, and Commitments
Second Congregational United Church of Christ is a welcoming, historic, and progressive Christian community
in the heart of Rockford.
As a people gathered in response to God's call, our mission is to
proclaim the good news of God made known in Jesus Christ and to courageously
live toward Christ's inclusive reign of justice, mercy, and peace.
In fulfillment of this mission, we covenant to:
- join together faithfully in worship of our Triune God, through preaching, prayer, sacrament, and music;
- grow continually in our understanding of our faith through ministries of Christian formation;
- deepen our discipleship through service, justice-seeking, and reconciliation;
- act as stewards of the abundant gifts we receive: physical, spiritual, financial, and relational;
- intensify our commitment to the downtown Rockford community; and
- celebrate and strengthen each other's faith through friendship, compassion, and care in times of sorrow and rejoicing.
What does all this mean?
Christian: At our heart, we are a community
claimed by God in grace and love—grace and love we believe we know most fully
in Jesus, the Christ. We join with other Christian churches in all times and
places in our faith in the Triune God and in proclaiming the good news God has
shown us through Jesus Christ. We invite others to join us as we come to
know ever anew these gifts of God through our journey of discipleship lived
out in community.
Welcoming: We are a church with doors open to all
people. As our denomination's recent television commercial states, "No matter
who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here." While we still have room to grow in our diversity, already part of our community
are people probably like you: young, old, and in-between; White, Black, Asian,
and Latino/a; single, married, divorced, partnered, and widowed; straight, gay, and
lesbian; people who need mobility or hearing helps and people who don't; people with
young children, older children, and no children; people who come from United
Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic,
Pentecostal, Brethren, Baptist, Unitarian, and no previous church background.
Historic: Our community celebrates
over 150 years of faithful ministry in the heart of Rockford—standing as one of
the oldest still-existing congregations in the city. But our roots run even deeper,
since our denomination traces its traditions to the earliest English and German
Protestant colonists in the Americas in the 1600s and 1700s. The story doesn't
stop there, though, as our faith tradition connects back almost 500 years to the
original foundations of the Protestant Reformation and over 2,000 years to the earliest
Christian churches and Jesus himself.
Progressive: Even as our faith is
over 2,000 years old, our thinking is not! As progressive Protestant
Christians, we believe that our faith is enriched by the insights of new discoveries
and learning, that questioning and even doubt are key parts of our journey, and
that engaging society and dialoging with contemporary culture is necessary to be
faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. The progressive approach to Christian faith
is a rich and varied part within contemporary Christianity, one that combines insights
from 19th-century evangelicals, early 20th-century Christian liberals, mid 20th-century
neo-orthodox Christians, and contemporary liberationist Christians in order to claim
and proclaim a faith that is deep and yet open, strong and yet flexible.
Explore our Faith and Identity further...
We've only just scratched the surface of what we're all about. Here are some ways
to further explore our faith and identity here at Second Congregational United Church
The best way to find out who we are is to experience us in person—come join us!