Welcome to the Big Red Church
First Congregational Church of Fresno, United Church of Christ, is an Open and Affirming congregation, with strong ecumenical and interfaith ties, through whom God Is Still Speaking today.
No matter who you are, or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here. Find your church. Find yourself. Find your community. Bold. Proud. Progressive. We are the Big Red Church.
As with our Pilgrim forebears, who were the original “congregational” presence in North America, United Church of Christ congregations adhere to a principle of “covenant.” Covenant is a solemn promise between God and the members of the local church.
Our model is the historic covenant of Salem Church of Massachusetts as written in 1629: We covenant with the Lord and one another, and do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to walk together in all His ways, according as He is pleased to reveal Himself to us in His blessed word of truth.
Our FCCF covenant today reads: God calls the church into being. In response we love God and each other.
• We provide a place in a changing world where the constancy of God’s love and compassion is known through the example of Jesus Christ
• We celebrate our life together through ministries of prayer and worship, music and education, stewardship and outreach
• We share the stories of our faith and spiritual journeys
• We connect with the mysteries of God’s grace, the miracle of restorative faith, and the power of ritual and myth
• We live with compassion for all God’s creation
• We dispel isolation and alienation, witnessing to the joy of an open and affirming Christian life
Strengthened and transformed by our faith, we go out into the wider community offering the message of hope and reconciliation to all people.
UCC STATEMENT OF FAITH
Below is the Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ, our denomination, in the form of a doxology (a prayer of praise addressed to God):
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 your 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. Amen.
OPEN AND AFFIRMING STATEMENT
(As adopted by the congregation in 1995)
We believe that all people are sacred creations of a loving God. We affirm the diversity that exists among us. We strive to answer the call of Christ by extending his love, compassion and acceptance to everyone. In this spirit, we open our family of faith to people of every religious background, sexual orientation, family composition, physical and mental ability, race, age and gender.
As Christians, we experience God’s reconciling love. In response we stand with those who suffer discrimination, isolation and alienation.
We welcome all people to participate fully in our church’s life and ministry. We celebrate the variety of talents and perspectives which flow into our spiritual community, continuing to enrich us in ways we could not have predicted or envisioned.