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About the UCC

Welcome to the United Church of Christ—a community of faith that seeks to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. The UCC was founded in 1957 as the union of several different Christian traditions. From the beginning of our history, we were a church that affirmed the ideal that Christians did not always have to agree in order to live together in communion. Our motto—”that they may all be one”—is Jesus’ prayer for the unity of the church. The UCC is one of the most diverse Christian denominations in the United States. *

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What does the logo symbolize?

The symbol of the United Church of Christ comprises a crown, cross and orb enclosed within a double oval bearing the name of the church and the prayer of Jesus, “That they may all be one” (John 17:21). It is based on an ancient Christian symbol called the “Cross of Victory” or the “Cross Triumphant.” The crown symbolizes the sovereignty of Christ. The cross recalls the suffering of Christ—his arms outstretched on the wood of the cross—for the salvation of humanity. The orb, divided into three parts, reminds us of Jesus’ command to be his “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The verse from Scripture reflects our historic commitment to the restoration of unity among the separated churches of Jesus Christ.


New UCC Logo Reflects, Complements Denomination’s Purpose, Vision, Mission Statements

Beginning with General Synod 2017 in Baltimore this summer, the United Church of Christ will begin the transition to a new logo for the denomination. The logo, last re-designed in 2004, has been updated to reflect both tradition and innovation within the church as it faces the challenges and opportunities of Christian witness in the coming decades.
The new logo’s design and colors are intended to complement the graphic representation of “A Just World for All,” developed to illustrate new Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements adopted by the national setting of the church last fall.
Those statements were finalized at the October board meeting, adopted following a denomination-wide survey in 2016 and are summarized by the words “A Just World for All.”
“I have been traveling around witnessing the work of our churches,” said the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and president, “and what we are doing will not change. What will change is our ability to tell the story more fully, and to narrate the impact of a mission we are all collectively engaged in. We are hoping to deepen the sense that we are all in this together; and that together we make a profound difference in our world.”
The new logo’s colors were chosen to work with both ‘A Just World for All’ and the ‘3 Great Loves campaign — Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, Love of Creation,’ which will be rolled out during General Synod in Baltimore (June 30 – July 4). Blue has replaced red, with black retained as the second color, in the new design, to visually and symbolically represent Creation elements of water and earth.
The phase-in of the new logo begins with its first appearance on the July 2017 – December 2018 UCC Desk Calendar, in the mail to churches this month, and will continue with its introduction at General Synod, where attendees will see the new logo on the screen in the Plenary Hall, in Synod materials, and on identity merchandise in the Exhibit Hall.
Following Synod, the next phase of the transition will be the appearance of the new logo on a completely re-designed and re-organized UCC website, and streamlined KYP (Keeping You Posted), the denomination’s weekly e-zine. These changes will take place in early October.
The new logo retains an updated version of the traditional element of the UCC comma — a much-loved and widely used emblem of the United Church of Christ introduced as part of the “God is still speaking,” identity campaign. That campaign quoted a line from Gracie Allen that her husband George Burns found among her papers after death. In a letter addressed to him were the words, “George, never place a period where God places a comma.” A variation on that line, along with the graphic comma, has been used since 2004 as a symbol and shorthand way to refer to “continuing testimony,” or the ever-unfolding nature of God’s word for new times.
The new primary UCC logo consists of an updated comma emblem and the words “United Church of Christ.” “God is still speaking,” remains as the UCC’s tagline, and the new logo may be used with or without the tagline.
In addition to the comma, the UCC retains its original emblem for use by congregations and other entities of the denomination: the traditional “cross, crown, and orb” graphic, including the words “That they may all be one” (John17:21), which dates from the founding of the United Church of Christ in 1957—a statement of the UCC’s intent to be a “united and uniting” church.
“It’s never easy to move on from a familiar and well-known logo—especially in the church, and especially when the old logo meant ‘God is still speaking’ to many of us,” said Tina Villa, UCC communications director. “While those words are as fresh as ever—which is why we are retaining them—our logo itself needed a visual update. And it needed to reflect the new directions the church is headed in, while not abandoning the core beliefs that anchor us: ‘God is still speaking,’ and ‘that they may all be one.'” (from the UCC website June 2017)

Three Great Loves

The United Church of Christ has a vision of a just world for all. In this world all are welcomed, everyone is loved and justice is inherent. The 3 Great Loves is the denomination’s opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world.

Over the course of the next two years, through the lens of the 3 Great Loves, the United Church of Christ tells the story of how we are impacting and transforming the world, united in common purpose and mission.

During these upcoming two years, there will be moments of special invitation to participate in this denomination-wide undertaking. One by one we will focus on each of the 3 Great Loves in service to our communities.

Our expression of love, is and will be our living testimony.

What would it look like for an entire denomination to commit to a shared mission? How much impact could an entire denomination have if it worked as one on a mission that mattered?

We’re about to find out. We have done this before, and not that long ago. Five years ago, the United Church of Christ launched Mission One – an initiative to help alleviate hunger. Four years ago, we launched Mission 4/1 Earth – a concentrated effort toward restoring health to the planet.

This year, and for the next two years until General Synod 2019, we call the faith communities of the United Church of Christ to engage in the Three Great Loves mission campaign.

In response to our Purpose statement – a call to love our neighbor as ourselves; and to our Vision statement – to build a just world for all: we are asking our congregations to seek ways to live out a commitment in mission to the love of children, the love of neighbor, and the love of creation.

How does your church embody its love for children?

How does your church incarnate the love of Jesus in seeking to love your neighbor?

How does your church uphold the mandate to steward the Earth by demonstrating a love for creation?

Together, we can change the world.

United in God’s spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we can love all, welcome all, and seek justice for all: for the children, for our neighbors, and for creation.

We can, we will, we must make a difference.

Let our love light the way to a better world, a more just world – for the children, for our neighbor, for creation.

John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President