Progressive. Inclusive. Inspired.

UCC Missoula creates more joy and more justice through Jesus.

Through Summer 2020, we are gathering for worship online. Check our UCC Missoula YouTube Channel, or use the links to worship on the web page.

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Outdoor Gathering Protocols

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Guidance for Outdoor Gatherings

UCC Missoula

UCC Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your patience and supportive of our church closing our building back in early March to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Four long months later, many of us are longing to reconnect in person. While in-person worship is still not advisable, UCC staff and church leadership would like to offer opportunities for small groups to gather outdoors in our courtyard.

In creating these opportunities, we are leaning into the following values:

A) Safer space: While no gathering can be 100 percent guaranteed safe, we are creating a series of protocols that we hope will create “safer” space and practices that will help us transition into in-person worship in the Fall. Since the virus travels best over longer-term exposure, we will limit the time exposure of these gatherings to 45 minutes.

B) Love-based compliance: While much our UCC personality is centered in the idea of local individual interpretation in matters of theology and faith practice, with these protocols, we “do a new thing” in requiring everyone to adhere to these rules, and remind others to adhere to these rules in a spirit of loving care.  Those who choose to not adhere to the required protocols will be asked to leave the space.

C) Starting Small, Learn as we go: We’re going to start with 2 groups of 5 people setting one group at the fire pit and another group near the fountain. Plastic chairs will be available, personal chairs are encouraged. As we learn together how this can work best, we may be able to expand the number or size of our groups. We are starting with two gathering times per week, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. and Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m.

Protocols begin on the next page.

The protocols for small group gatherings in the Courtyard are as follows:

1) Pre-register: Sign up for a spot before you arrive. We may be able to accommodate some onsite registration, but prior registration will help everyone know that they can participate.  (We hope to accommodate up to 10 people per gathering, 5 people in two circles to start.)

2) Assess your health: Before you leave your house, self-check to make sure you do not have a fever, cough, scratchy throat or any other symptoms related to COVID-19.  If you have any of these symptoms, please take care of yourself and stay home. If you’re well, bring your mask!

3) Nix the cookies and punch: Please do not bring food or drink to share from a common plate. You may bring your own water, but please pack out anything you pack in.

4) Wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one for you. Everyone will wear a mask at all times, lineup through departure. No exceptions.

5) Practice Physical Distancing: Avoid mingling before and after the group meets. Please do not leave your car to line up outside the gate until 5 minutes before your gathering is set to begin. Observe at least 6 feet of physical distancing at all times. Children are welcome if they can maintain these protocols.

6) Sign in.  Please allow a host to sign you in, one at a time, and update your contact information should we need to inform you about any potential exposure.

7) Don’t touch. This is hard, but we have to ask you to refrain from any kind of hug, handshake, tap on the arm, or other physical contact.

8) Stay in your circles. Hosts will create circle spaces for gatherings in the Courtyard: initially, one at the Fire Pit and another near the Fountain. If/When we feel it’s prudent to increase the number of people who can gather, a third circle can be added near the Peace Pole. Staff will mark out placements for chairs. We encourage you to bring your own chairs, but we will have plastic chairs available. (Staff will sanitize chairs after use. Please do not put away chairs that you’ve used.) Once you have chosen a seat, do not move the seat or move to another circle.

9) Check for Confidentiality. We never know when people will share information with us that they may wish to remain private. Please create confidentiality agreements that your group will keep.

10) Wait for directions to leave. Circles will be dismissed individually to allow for distancing. Please do not mingle after the gathering has ended.

11) After you go.  Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after leaving, and of course, refrain from touching your face.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE WILL BE NO BUILDING ACCESS AT THIS TIME.

This includes no restroom access.

This Week's Worship

In Ezekiel 31:1-7 the greatness of God is compared to the beauty of a cedar tree. In our new worship series, Beguiled by Beauty, Rev. Janice Springer considers the wisdom of trees, and how they can teach us to be strong during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We can approach the challenges of how to care for one another, the internal struggles we face in ever changing times, and what to do when we feel like giving up, all through the wisdom of trees.

University Congregational Church Missoula, United Church of Christ

UPCOMING EVENTS
About Us

No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here! We are an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.

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Purpose

At UCC Missoula, we proclaim a Gospel that is Progressive, Inclusive and Inspired by the never-ending love of God.

About Us
Cool Stuff @ UCC

We do a lot of cool stuff at UCC because our hearts are “warmed” by the Gospel of Love. (Luke 24:32)

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Youth and children's ministry

Youth Ministry creates a basis for parents and their children to become more thoughtful, kind and compassionate.

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Open and Affirming

Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ's (UCC) designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. UCC Missoula became an ONA Church in 1993, and we have LGBTQ people active in leadership and in all areas of church life.

Creation Justice Covenant

We created a Creation Justice Covenant to guide how we care for God’s creation. The covenant is also part of UCC Missoula becoming a Creation Justice Church within United Church of Christ.

Climate crisis is an urgent, all-encompassing, worldwide emergency. In affirming the divine gifts of creation and in affirming our connection to God, each other, and the world around us, we unconditionally commit ourselves as individuals and as a congregation to the intertwined responsibilities of caring for creation and seeking justice for the oppressed. With purposeful resolve, we commit ourselves with an awareness of how the abuses of creation inevitably cause human suffering and of how factors such as race, class, and global inequality inevitably cause some to suffer more than others.

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Small Groups

Small groups are a wonderful way to deepen your relationship with God and with the community at UCC. At our church, we joyfully believe that humans, in all of our beautiful and complex diversity, are created in the image of God, so building relationships with each other is sacred work.

Small groups happen in many forms at our church. Some meet long term (for years!), others gather for a 4-6 week study on a specific book or topic, and still others gather to learn a skill or complete a project. Our Contemplative Prayer Group meets every Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m., and other prayer groups are often formed during the special seasons of Lent (spring) and Advent (winter). Anyone can drop in on Theology Pub, which gathers monthly at a local brewery or coffee shop for discussion and fun. Small groups include retreats 2-4 times each year, on or off-site, and our annual Contemplative Backpack trip for 15+ years. Getting involved in a small group will help you grow spiritually, mentally, socially, and through serving others.

Worship/Music

We encourage worshiping God 24/7, but we gather on Sundays at 10 a.m. to sing, pray, and learn together. Worship is "traditional" in some ways and improvisational in others. Every week has a theme based on scripture and every theme points us toward some new or refreshed understanding of who we are called to be as God's people in the world.

We celebrate a wide variety of musical styles. We showcase two adult choirs, Flute choir, Bell choir, Woodwind ensemble, String ensemble, Brass ensemble, organ, piano, guitar, drums and solo instrumentalists and voices. Our children's ministry program also produces two musicals each year.

Our Ministry Team

We proudly claim that our ministers are "all the members of the church." Meet our staff of amazingly talented, motivated, and compassionate people who supports our larger ministry.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Yocum (she/her) is a storytelling, kayak-paddling, gaze-in-wonder-at-God-in-the-world kind of person.

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Rev. Laura Folkwein

,
Associate Pastor

Laura (she/her) is passionate about strengthening communities, treating all people with dignity and respect, and connecting people to care for and advocate with each other.

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"I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior"

Habbakuk 3:18

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