About the UCC
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 of two earlier denominations. The United Church of Christ is often referred to simply as the UCC.
The Congregational Churches organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) united in 1648. The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Reformed Church in the United States traces its beginnings to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on. The Evangelical Synod of North America began in an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri in 1841.
Each branch in the United Church of Christ brought unique characteristics:
Christian - By our very name, the United Church of Christ, we declare ourselves to be part of the Body of Christ, the Christian church. We continue the witness of the early disciples to Jesus of Nazareth.
Reformed - All four denominations arose from the tradition of the Protestant Reformers: We confess the authority of one God. We affirm the primacy of the Scriptures, the doctrine of justification by faith, the priesthood of all believers, and the principle of Christian freedom. We celebrate two sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (also called Holy Communion or the Eucharist).
Congregational - The basic unit of the United Church of Christ is the congregation. Members of each congregation covenant with one another and with God. These congregations, in turn, exist in covenantal relationships with one another to form larger structures for more effective work, e.g. local congregation, association/conference, and synod.
Evangelical - The primary task of the church is the proclamation of the Gospel. The Gospel literally means the “Good News” of God’s love revealed with power in Jesus Christ. We proclaim this Gospel by word and deed to individual persons and to society. We gather for the worship of God, and through each week, we engage in the service of humankind.
First Congregational Church of Winona affiliated with UCC on January 12, 1961. Our congregation founded in 1854 has the honor of being the first church in Winona, the oldest congregation in Minnesota outside of the Twin-Cities area, and the third Congregational Church organized in Minnesota. First Congregational Church of Winona is member of the Minnesota Conference – UCC.
“No matter where you are in life's journey,
You are welcome here.”