worship

Core Values

In June 23, 2013, Pilgrim Congregational UCC affirmed Justice, Mission, Christ Centered, Worship, and Inclusiveness as its core values.

Justice

The principle or ideal of just dealing or right action based on the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.

“God has showed you, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” … Micah 6:8

Mission

The participation of the people of God in God’s action in the world

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” … Isaiah 6:8

Christ Centered

The life and teachings of Jesus are the motivation for and the foundation of all worship, programs and ministries of the church

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” … 1 Corinthian 11:1-2

Worship

The gathering of believers and seekers to worship and praise God, to hear the Word of God read and interpreted, and to gain knowledge and strength for the life of discipleship.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” … Colossians 3:16

Inclusiveness

A way of being and acting that creates a hospitable and welcoming environment for all people .

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” … Matthew 25:40

Romans 2:11 “God shows no partiality

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Church Covenant

We pledge to seek justice, to oppose violence, racism, sexism, fear of differences, economic inequity and abuse of power. We promise to substitute acts of goodwill and caring; to feed the hungry, to provide shelter for the homeless, to nurture the ill, and to prevent cruelty to any of God’s children, or any of God’s creatures. We pledge ourselves to welcome people of all sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church.

 

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Extravagant Welcome

We believe in a God that extends an extravagant welcome to all people, we welcome and affirm all people into our fellowship regardless of their age, race, class, ability, religious understanding, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

No matter who you are or where you are on life’’s journey, you are welcome here.

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Faith is a Journey

As members of the United Church of Christ (UCC), we are a unity in diversity. The beliefs of our members span the gamut. Basically, we subscribe to the motto of Eden Theological Seminary (attributed to Saint Augustine of Hippo):

In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.

We encourage our members to think for themselves. Faith is a journey. The journey starts with you in relationship with God. Instead of providing our members with a strict set of doctrines to which they must adhere, we encourage them to wrestle with the tough spiritual and theological questions and come to a personal understanding of what they mean for their personal faith and life.

Although our members do not agree on every doctrine of the faith (e.g. the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, salvation, and such), we are united in a covenantal relationship. Regardless of how we understand the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ, we live in a relationship of reciprocal love, support, and care. We also believe, as James proclaims, that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). We also believe that we are called to live-out our faith by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and welcoming the stranger. In other words, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

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Social Justice

“We pledge to seek justice, to oppose violence, racism, sexism, fear of difference, economic inequity, and abuse of power, and substitute acts of goodwill and caring.” (From the Pilgrim Church Covenant)

Pilgrim Church is committed to advancing Social Justice near and far. Pilgrim members and friends have participated in and supported just peace rallies, the Tents of Hope project raising awareness of the Genocide in the Sudan, and the Interreligious Task Force on Central America. In 2009, Pilgrim launched the Refuse to Sign campaign for marriage equality. Pilgrim called for the separation of church and state by advocating equal marriage rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, and until marriage equality became the law of the land, encouraged faith communities, and their leaders, not to sign state-issued marriage licenses.

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LGBT and Friends

Pilgrim is proudly an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.

“…We pledge ourselves to welcome people of all sexual orientations into the full life and ministry of the church.” (From the Pilgrim Church Covenant).

The entire Pilgrim community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allies) is encouraged to attend LGBT events including participating in the annual Cleveland LGBT Pride Parade & Festival, advocacy activities, and social gatherings

Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and Friends community at Pilgrim is diverse, from couples with children to singles, from young adults to senior citizens. Our LGBT community is not separate from our church, but a part of the larger Pilgrim church community that includes individuals and families of all sexual orientations, age, economical, social status, or gender identity.

All events at the church are open to members and non-members, because we believe the LGBT and Friends community at Pilgrim must include all its allies.

From Weddings… Holiday gatherings… potlucks… social justice mission outreach opportunities… Pride-Focused Worship Service… Pride Parade and Festival… World AIDS Day Service… Transgender Day of Remembrance…

The entire Pilgrim community is encouraged to attend LGBT and Friends events, and we warmly welcome all our allies!

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Statement of Faith

As a UCC congregation, we subscribe to the basic tenets of the Christian faith as outlined in the UCC Statement of Faith.

United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the form of a doxology

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.

It is important to note that the Statement of Faith, which has been through many revisions in the past fifty years, is a testimony of our common faith, not a test of faith, as we find in the classical Christian creeds.