The United Church of Christ stands up for all sorts of political issues while their flocks stand up and head for the doors.
EPISCOPALIANS often get tarred as America's most liberal Christian denomination. But there is a more liberal one! (Hint: it's the one Howard Dean joined after he quit the Episcopal Church in a dispute over a bike trail.)
And it's nearly as old, too. Episcopalians can trace their history in America back to Jamestown in 1607, but the United Church of Christ's antecedents date to the Puritans who arrived in New England only a couple decades later.
It's been a roller coaster of a ride across the centuries for the United Church of Christ, from gun-toting Calvinists to super-PC gay "marriage" proponents. The l.2 million member United Church of Christ (UCC) became the first major Christian denomination in America officially to endorse same-sex nuptials, when its General Synod met from July 1 to July 5 in Atlanta.
The UCC attracted major media attention late last year with its controversial television ads featuring bouncers outside a church turning away racial minorities, the disabled, and a same-sex couple. The implication was that the UCC, unlike other churches, was inclusive and tolerant.
But despite the UCC's boasts of inclusiveness, it has lost nearly one million members since 1960. It lost another 30,000 last year alone. The ongoing membership hemorrhage notwithstanding, the UCC's president recently celebrated his denomination's "extravagant hospitality" and "evangelical courage."
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