United Churches of Christ (UCC) began a new video ad campaign April 16 entitled, “Is God Still Speaking?” This campaign began a few weeks ago with teasers showing a comma symbol and promising a radical new message to be revealed today. The video tied to the campaign is quite well done and attempts to be inclusive in its message. It begins by showing an interracial couple and proceeds to a series of still shots including immigrants, the elderly, the disabled, and gay couples, including a gay male couple with children.
The message of the campaign is the God is still speaking; new revelation is being understood. “Never put a period, where God has put a comma,” the video says. This new ad campaign may seem radical to those not familiar with UCC, but they have been an inclusive church since 2004, when they were moved to change their policy to welcome all comers. The UCC is focused on social justice and "testimonies, not tests, of faith."
Bakersfield’s United Church of Christ is called the First Congregational Church of Bakersfield and is located at 5 Real Road. A pastoral letter from Rev. David Stabenfeldt can be found here. A map to the Church may be found here. Bakersfield’s FCC/UCC is one of the churches participating in the “Is God Still Speaking” campaign, and they are a welcoming and inclusive congregation.
According to the UCC website,
In 2004, it was concluded that there was a present and real need for genuine welcome, openness and acceptance for all within the church. The UCC responded to this call of extravagant welcome and radical hospitality with a new branding campaign to proclaim to the world that anyone could find a home in the United Church of Christ.
“No matter where you are, or where you are on life’s journey,
you’re welcome here.”
To date, more than 2,500 churches have chosen to formally participate in the God is still speaking, campaign. As that number continues to grow, the United Church of Christ continues to balance religious tradition with new ideas for religion that is relevant.
God is still speaking,
The Stillspeaking Ministry continues to provide resources that enable all settings of the church to proclaim the good news of extravagant welcome. Together under one collective identity, we can enthusiastically support and proudly lift up that the UCC is a welcoming, justice-minded Christian community.
At a time when religion is too often portrayed as narrow-minded and exclusive, many are raising their voices for an alternative vision:
· where God is all-loving and inclusive
· where a church welcomes and accepts everyone as they are
· where your mind is nourished as much as your soul
· where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary
· where together we grow a just and peaceful world.