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mzmolly
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I am deciding between these two progressive churches.

 

Any thoughts as to what the major differences are?

 

Do you see one having an advantage over the other?

 

UCC = United Church of Christ

 

UMC = United Methodist Church

 

Thank You.

Edited by mzmolly
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Hmm. Well, I'm decidedly UMC myself, but let me try to be objective here.

 

UCC

* smaller in numbers and thus amount of ministry that they can accomplish in the world

* more "reformed" (in the Protestant family tree)

* they say the Lord's Prayer with forgive us our "debts"..

* they have a strong history of civil rights activism going back to Amistad

* they are probably a tad more liberal on the continuum

* Pastors are hired directly by local congregations - hence, many women have a harder time obtaining employment.

* seem to be more tolerant of gay/lesbian clergy

 

UMC

* much larger in numbers and ability to engage in profound worldwide ministries

* a hybrid chruch -cross between Episcopalians and Baptists

(they take liturgy and evangelism fairly seriouslly, though not as much as the others respectively)

* they say the Lord's Prayer with forgive us our "trespasses"..

* Pastors appointed via a bishop and hence, easier for woment to secure appointments

* a mixed bag of tolerance and intolerance when it comes to gay/lesbian clergy

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I am a member of the UMC in the southern U.S. The congregation is very conservative. The northern and western Methodist churches are very liberal. The United Church of Christ is probably the most liberal of Christian churches. They seem to be one step below a Unitarian.

There is a developing schism in the UMC between the conservatives and liberals. It may come to a head at the General Conference which begins on April 27.

I am elderly and live in a small town otherwise I would join the United Church of Christ. The closest one is 65 miles away.

Glenn Wilhite

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Hi,

I am UCC. It's funny that gwilhite said that we were one step below Unitarians. There is a joke that UCC stands for Unitarians Considering Christ. The UCC as a denomination is extremely liberal. We are congregationalist, however, and every individual church is different. My congregation is open and affirming, which is gay-friendly, but the other 2 UCC churches in my town are not. We don't have a heirarchy so the philosophy and tolerance can be very different from one local church to another. The UCC is very very diverse in race and orientation and background. We do have a long standing of social justice endeavors. My congregation always sends a couple members to the local peace rallys and we are part of the denomination-wide boyoctt of Mount Olive Pickles. LAst year we started a tradition of leading an ecumenical devotional service at Gay Pride.

 

The Methodists are fabulous too, I guess the UMC would be our more organized cousin,perhaps. I live in Durham NC and both my pastors (a married couple co-pastor) came out of Duke Divinity . Also we have a lot of Duke professors at our church.

Isn't Duke a Methodist school?

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Duke University has historic ties to the Methodist Church. Interestingly, it has the same motto, Eruditio et Religio, as Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky which also has a Methodist history.

The UMC churches in small southern towns are very conservative compared to those in university cities. My church has always had mildly liberal pastors until recently. The present one is a bible literalist and endorses speaking in tongues. The conservative congretation is wild about him. They have been hoping for years for someone like him. It is a perfect match for the congregation. Their glee is matched by my gloom.

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Duke University has historic ties to the Methodist Church. Interestingly, it has the same motto, Eruditio et Religio, as Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky which also has a Methodist history.

The UMC churches in small southern towns are very conservative compared to those in university cities. My church has always had mildly liberal pastors until recently. The present one is a bible literalist and endorses speaking in tongues. The conservative congretation is wild about him. They have been hoping for years for someone like him. It is a perfect match for the congregation. Their glee is matched by my gloom.

EEK! :o And I thought finding a Progressive Church in the Midwest was difficult... ;)

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If anyone is ever in the Canton/Akron area of Ohio, consider visiting St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Akron. I felt like a conservative when I visited there with my Episcopalian deacon friend. The sermon given on the day I was there was all about endorsing gay marriage, for an example. I also picked up a tape series while there that were recorded last year during a special seminar series delivered by John Dominic Crossan. Their church library has everything from Robert Funk to John Shelby Spong to Zen literature. They even have a sunday school about being a pluralistic Christian. I'm not sure how other Episcopal churches compare, though...

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Let me just echo some of the other posts here. I am in the UMC in the south and it is generally quite conservative. I always chuckle when I hear about the "liberal" UMC. Even the Episcopal churches around here are very conservative as well. It's a bit better in the urban areas, though.

 

~Sophia

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Here in Washington, DC, we have more than our share of progressive-minded UMC clergy. My Universalist (UU but not Unitarian) church is currently without a settled minister, and the series of guest preachers has included more than a few Methodist ministers whose messages were very well received.

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