Since 1983, our church has been a member of the national denomination the United Church of Christ (UCC). A brief description of our 1.1 million member denomination follows; for a more complete picture, go to ucc.org.
The UCC came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church, and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these had been the result of a union of two earlier denominational strands, so the UCC in effect brings together four denominational heritages. Deerfield Community Church has roots in the Congregational strand, a denomination formed when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony acknowledged their essential unity in 1648.
The responsible freedom emphasized by our denomination can be summed up by the sentence: In essentials unity, in nonessentials diversity, in all things charity. While rigid formulations of doctrine are shied away from, the denomination affirms that God is the Trinity of Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit. Simply put, God is love, and that love calls us to work toward understanding, reconciliation, peace, and justice in the world. The Bible, though written in specific historical times and places, continues to reveal God through ongoing and modern-day interpretation, as does the growing understanding and fellowship of a Spirit-led community. Thus the denominational slogan, “God is Still Speaking.”
In addition to relating to the national setting of the UCC, our local church is part of the New Hampshire Conference of the UCC, which brings together 144 churches, each of which belongs to one of the eight geographical Associations within the state. We are part of the Rockingham Association of 24 churches. To learn about the New Hampshire Conference and to obtain information about affiliated camps, go to www.nhcucc.org.
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