The United Church of Christ 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 was, in turn, the result of a union on two earlier denominations. The Congregational Churches were organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) acknowledged their essential unity in the Cambridge Platform of 1648. The Reformed Church in the United States traced its beginning to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on. Later, its ranks were swelled by Reformed folk from Switzerland and other countries.
The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1700s and early 1800s in reactions to the theological and organizational rigidity of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches of the time.
The Evangelical Synod of North America traced it's beginning to an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri. This association, founded in 1840, reflected the 1817 union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany.
Through the years, member of other groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Volga Americans, Armenians, Hungarians, and Hispanic Americans have joined with the four earlier groups. Thus, the United Church of Christ celebrates and continues a wide variety of traditions in its common life.
In light of the congregation's Mission statement, location and history, we believe that God is calling Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ in the following ways.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ is called to be a witness to the love and authority of God through Jesus Christ to the community.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ is called to be a means of connection between Elon University and the community. The church is called to foster programs that include both.
3Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ proudly proclaims itself a part of, and is called into covenant with, the United Church of Christ. We will proclaim the fact that God is still speaking to people with a Word that is at once timeless and fresh each day.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ is called to encourage followers of Jesus Christ to discern and use their individual gifts for ministry in his name.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ is called to provide the opportunity for diverse theological viewpoints to be held without being judged by other church members. We believe that the judging is best left to God. As part of the body of Christ, we intend to appeal to people of all races and lifestyles and to allow individuals to search, discover and flourish in the Christian faith. We are here to help people find a home in this community of faith.
To God be the glory.
Dedicated to spiritual renewal, we strive to be an accepting, thinking, and serving community of faith.
In faithful response to his "Great Commission," the mission of Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ is to extend Christ's love to all people and, by our loving actions, lead people to be his disciples.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ will fulfill this mission by inviting all people into the church-into relationship with Jesus Christ and with those who follow in his footsteps-for worship, prayer, nurture, service, and fellowship. Empowered by God's spirit, Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ will assist in the formation of disciples for Jesus Christ through the administration of the sacraments of baptism and communion, through education, and continued growth in faith.Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ will encourage the practice of Christ-like acts of service and compassion, in fulfillment of Jesus' summary of the commandments that we love God, our neighbors, and ourselves.
You are welcome here! This church is open to all of God's people. Experience the presence of God through music, Scripture, prayer, preaching, listening, and just being with others who, like you, are on this faith journey. We invite you to worship with us. Join us anytime. Elon Community Church is the church where we are "Joyfully Sharing God's Generosity."
Statement of Faith The Revision of 1981: A Doxology*
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being,create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit,creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be you servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace,courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing,and eternal life in your realm which has no end.Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
*Statement of Faith, Revised 1981 (in the form of a Doxology), affirmed by the Fourteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ.
Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ began its life in 1891, two years after the founding of Elon College, an institution dedicated to the education and nurture of the youth of the Christian Church, a denomination begun in the 1790's by James O'Kelly and other Methodists rejecting the authority of bishops. The six cardinal principles of that denomination were: 1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Head of the Church. 2. Christian is a sufficient name for the Church. 3. The Holy Bible is a sufficient rule of faith and practice.4. Christian character is a sufficient test of fellowship and of church membership.5. The right of private judgment and the liberty of conscience is a right and a privilege that should be accorded and exercised by all. 6. The purposes of this Church will be consummated in the reformation of the world and the union of all Christians.From 1891 until 1959 the church met within buildings of the college. A significant proportion of the church remembers worshiping in Whitley Auditorium. Two of the congregation's ministers were also the presidents of the college.In 1959 the congregation moved off the campus of the college into the present facility. It has benefited from a mutual relationship with the University in a number of ways including its landscaping, snow clearance, lawn care and parking lot paving. Both church and university have benefited by sharing classroom and Parish House space.The church building is located on the West side of North Williamson Avenue, facing Elon University. Elon Community Church, United Church of Christ has historically been part of the Christian Church. That body united with the Congregationalists in 1931 to become the Congregational Christian Church. This denomination merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1957 to become the United Church of Christ.