Intelligent dialogue and a strong independent streak at times has caused the United Church of Christ (UCC) and its millions of members to be called a “heady and exasperating mix.” The UCC tends to be a mostly progressive denomination that unabashedly engages heart and mind; we are non-doctrinal and respectful of other faith traditions. We take the Bible seriously but not literally. Magnolia United Church of Christ is a member of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Congregational churches founded by the Pilgrims and other spiritual reformers laid the foundation for the UCC Church, our denomination. In an early experiment in democracy, each congregation was self-governing and elected its own ministers. We still do. It has worked well in an ongoing pursuit of social justice through the years:
- 1700: Early stand against slavery
- 1853: First woman pastor
- 1897: Denouncing economic oppression
- 1959: Public airwaves. UCC wins a legal ruling that ends the southern civil rights news blackout against Rev. Martin Luther King
- 1972: First openly gay minister
- 1976: First African American leader of integrated denomination
- 1995: Equality of the sexes (first hymnal that honors in equal measure both male and female images of God)
- 1997: Open & Affirming. Magnolia UCC, Seattle, formerly became an Open & Affirming congregation, ensuring that everyone is welcome here.
- 2014: Marriage equality. UCC files lawsuit arguing North Carolina unconstitutionally restricted religious freedom by barring the blessing of same-sex couples.