We are a united parish in name and in character. We bring together not only two historic, Protestant denominations (the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church) under one roof, but we also bring together people of all ages, many backgrounds, diverse persuasions, multiple orientations, all in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.
We are a community in the true sense of the word: leaning on one another, growing together, stretching each other and finding comfort in one another. While we have a long, rich history (almost 300 years!), we are actively trying to look to the future and discern God's new word for tomorrow.
We offer anyone who would join with us for worship, outreach or membership the opportunity to serve and be served, to minister and to be ministered to, to meet and be met by neighbors, strangers and even more importantly God.
We believe God has called us to be centered and growing in Jesus Christ, celebrating God's love, nurtured by meaningful traditions and led by the Spirit in new directions. We are to be a multi-generational, family-centered congregation that invites all people to enjoy friendship with Christ and with one another.
We believe God has called us to tend the fabric of our congregational life with compassion and joy, fostering and nurturing relationships of care. We are to empower each other to express our spiritual gifts in every aspect of our lives.
We believe God has called us to use our strength to provide active and vital outreach ministries to our community and world. We are to actively and faithfully plan for the purposeful growth of our church.
We, the members of the United Parish of Upton (UCC/UMC), believe that all people are created in God’s image and that Jesus commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). We affirm that each individual is a child of God and that together we are called to become one body with many members and many different gifts. As an Open and Affirming / Reconciling congregation, we embrace and welcome persons of every age, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, family structure, physical or mental ability or disability, educational background or socio-economic status into the full life of the church. We invite all to find a spiritual home in the United Parish of Upton and to share in the leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities, and blessings of participation in our congregation.
We seek to work and serve together according to these core values articulated by our Leadership Council in the Spring of 2014. We will ground our ministries, conversations, decisions and evaluations in:
Faith: continually asking are we operating in harmony with what we know of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, are we "seeking first the Kingdom of God" as we are able to discern it?
Acceptance: welcoming the full participation of all people and the free sharing of ideas and perspectives, we will strive to always "draw the circle wider."
Nurture: we will care for each other in word and deed, encouraging each other's peace, strength and growth.
Trust: we will risk honesty and offer forgiveness, allowing mistakes and leaving space for new information.
Communication: we will seek to keep all channels open, striving for transparency in work and decision-making, asking for feedback and disseminating information widely.
Stewardship: we will regard all our resources - human, spiritual, material, financial - as precious and valuable, given to us by a generous God who intends our generosity, too.
We will engage in hearty celebration whenever and however possible, rejoicing in small and large accomplishments, basking in joy, prodigal with praise and thanksgiving.