Dear Church Family,
Another round of wonderful conversations on Identity (December) and Vision (January).
There is still time to participate in the vision questions by filling out this form.
Here is what you said during our Holy Conversations on our Identity:
Question #1: United Christian Church of Austin shows God’s love to each other and the world by
Cultivating a Open and Affirming Christian Community by genuinely welcoming everyone; and building and modeling healthy intergenerational relationships with open, intimate conversations where we strive to get to know one another; be kind; listen respectfully, openly, and non-judgmentally to the experiences, faith journeys, needs, and perceptions of others; share differing opinions; work together to dream and plan; disagree in love; and learn from one another. We strive to support and build each other up, and to be present to care for one another in times of challenge and celebration.
Worshiping together in beautiful, meaningful, and creative ways that focuses on gathering together; emphasizes member participation including children; draws on music, art, drama to enhance experience; practices inclusivity and open communion; and encourages thought-provoking sermons.
Praying for each other and others both individually and corporately.
Engaging in Justice and Advocacy work by supporting mission and justice efforts with hands-on projects and activities, financial contributions, and educational opportunities.
Supporting Christian Education opportunities that helps all ages understand how we show God’s love through kindness, mission work, justice, and love.
Volunteering to the business and missional work of the church.
Question # 2: Our faith has been nurtured by United Christian Church of Austin through
- Being welcomed and having the opportunity to welcome others
- Experiencing and giving love without judgment
- Being open to and considering challenging and thought provoking questions
- Feeling safe even when we’re not feeling faithful
- Listening to, being heard by, trusting, and developing relationships with one another
- Fellowship and fun with one another
- Learning from one another’s variety of faith and denominational backgrounds
- Meaningful worship with many types of beautiful music, creative liturgy, and a variety of meaningful sermons and preaching styles
- Communion each week
- Forgiving ourselves and one another as a practice...prayers of confession
Justice and Advocacy
- Faith formation groups, bible studies, book studies and discussions
- Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and camps for children
- Youth group and activities like service projects and mission trips
Question # 3: Things that make United Christian Church of Austin unique are
- A sense of openness and belonging
- A long history of inclusivity
- Genuinely “open and affirming”--we do our best to “walk the walk”
- When we say “no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are invited and welcome here”, we mean it
- A genuine respect for one another in a group of varied church/denominational and faith backgrounds
- Caring for one another in active ways as part of a warm, loving community
- Energetic and engaged children and youth combined with the wisdom and foundation of our older congregants
- Positive messages
- Open communion table
- Open approach regarding baptism...any form at any age or no baptism
- Creativity in worship and ministry
Justice and Advocacy
- Struggling with what justice is, striving for it, and trying to implement it in action
- Progressive Christianity in our theology and commitment to justice
- Commitment to mission/service in both action and financial giving
Thank you to all who have participated. And remember, there is still time to give your input into the vision of United Christian Church.
Peace be with you all,
Your Interim Process Support Team (Miguel Flores, Cherie Hinch, Chase Larson, Clark Thompson, Bryan Thornhill)