Progressive. Inclusive. Inspired.

UCC Missoula creates more joy and more justice through Jesus.

We welcome you to join us Sundays this summer online at our UCC Missoula YouTube Channel.
We'll have three outdoor, in-person services in our courtyard on June 27th, July 25th, and August 15th.

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Regathering

This summer, June 20-September 12, we'll be worshiping mainly online with an outdoor, in-person service in our Courtyard once a month on: June 27th, July 25th, and August 15th.
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We are Regathering in person (with limited numbers and all COVID precautions in place) for a limited time until mid-June. Sunday worship in the Sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. will take place through June 16. NO REGISTRATION NECESSARY.

Online Worship will continue to be offered through our YouTube channel. Many thanks to our COVID Advisory Team, our staff and all of the people who are doing everything they can to become vaccinated and keep infections down.

Note: There will be no nursery care available. Sunday School will remain outdoors or online at 4 p.m. Youth Group is on its own schedule. Children ARE WELCOME in worship.

You can read all about Regathering plans and precautions below:

Beloveds, the long shadow of the COVID-19 has not withdrawn entirely, but more hope is breaking through on the horizon. Vaccination rates are increasing and, while COVID-19 cases are still occuring, your UCC Missoula COVID-19 Advisory Team is recommending a series of regathering strategies for worship for your consideration.

Why “regathering” instead of “returning”?

After a more than a year of isolation, grief and loss, many of us are anxious to “return” back to the way church (and life outside of church) looked like before the pandemic. We miss hugs and handshakes, singing together, eating together, sharing communion and so many other customs, but the ongoing risks of this highly contagious and debilitating virus prohibit those activities.

Instead, we will develop new routines, rituals and traditions which maintain our values of hospitality and generous welcome while mitigating the risks of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Like butterflies emerging from the chrysalis, we will treat each other with kindness, patience and loving support as we live into new ways of being with each other during this transition time.  Modifications to these strategies will take place as virus conditions improve or worsen, under the consultation of the UCC COVID Advisory Team and the Cabinet.

NOTE: This set of strategies is being proposed for the period of May 2-June 13. Summer will see half of our staff out of the office for sabbatical and other planned time off. Summer worship strategies will likely focus on online offerings with monthly in-person gatherings.

Summary of Strategies

Online Ministry: Online worship and other ministries will continue to be available going forward.

Children, Youth and Nursery: Sunday School and Youth Ministry will maintain their current time and programming OUTDOORS on Sunday afternoons (or as they determine). Sunday School and nursery care will NOT be available during the 10 a.m. worship time.  Youth and children are welcome to attend worship in person.  We ask that children over 2 wear a mask.

Masks: We will require use of face masks whenever in our building or on UCC Missoula property (this includes the courtyard), except for those leading worship, while they are speaking.

Distancing: We will tape off every other row in the Sanctuary and require that 6 feet of distance be maintained between individuals or family units. Distancing will also be required for any other gatherings in our building and on our property.

Hand Sanitizing: Sanitizing stations are already set up in several locations throughout the building.

Limits to gathering size and duration: A maximum of 50 people will be allowed in the sanctuary. We will encourage congregants to reserve their seats and will provide a check in station for attendees. Worship times will be limited to under one hour. Fellowship gathering will be encouraged to take place outside, away from doorways, for limited periods while maintaining masks and distancing.

Touchless participation: We have already removed hymnals, Bibles and other papers from the pews. We will eliminate “passing”—passing the plate, passing the peace, passing communion trays, etc. We will not allow food or beverages for any indoor church activities.  

Cleaning: Intensive cleaning and airing will take place after and between any use of the Sanctuary. We also ask those who have used/touched surfaces to use conveniently placed sanitizing sprays and wipes.

Music: Any music featuring voices or wind/brass instruments will be pre-recorded for use for in-person worship.

Reporting

Should any attendee at any UCC Missoula worship or other gathering develop symptoms of COVID-19 or become diagnosed with the virus, we will encourage them to seek medical attention, respond to all inquiries from the Missoula County Health Department, and let us know if they would like prayer or other support. We WILL NOT disclose any health conditions without express permission to do so. We ask that all of those determined to have had close contact with a person who has been infected to observe all quarantine requirements. Note: We will NOT inquire about or track vaccination status for anyone who attends our worship services, nor will we collect health information including temperature, symptoms or quarantine status.

Other Use of Sanctuary Space

We are currently limiting use of our Sanctuary space to UCC Missoula only. One ensemble rehearsal per day may take place in the Sanctuary if scheduled through Graham in our front office. Rehearsal/use may not take place after 6 p.m. on Tuesday evenings or after noon on Saturday. All singers must use masks with filters or otherwise designed for singing. We encourage use of mitigation covers on wind/brass instruments.

Small Group Gatherings not in the Sanctuary

A list of protocols for small group gatherings outside of the sanctuary is available on our website and through our administrator’s office. UCC-related small groups may meet as they agree to use the established protocols and appoint a liaison with the Church Administrator.

For more information

For comments, questions, ideas and offers of great appreciation (!) you may contact our COVID-19 Advisory Team—Jean Woessner, Steve Decker, Joyce Watson, Bobbie Bevington, Carolyn Dewey and Pastor Jennifer Yocum through jennifer@uccmissoula.org

This Week's Worship

This week, we worship online and welcome Pastor Janice Springer to UCC Missoula for the summer. Welcome Janice!

We also introduce our summer worship theme of "Summer Patchwork and Patch Work.” In a patchwork quilt, many diverse pieces make something beautiful. Our summer patch work is mending ourselves back together as we move back out into the world at different paces, some with holes in our jeans, others with empty places in our hearts and lives, still others strong, firm and ready to help fill in the gaps. Patchwork and patch work, lament and praise, travel and staying home, online worship and outdoor worship—all of it sewn together as the fabric of our faith and our lives together.  

Another piece in our summer patchwork is the Congregational Meeting on Zoom after worship this Sunday. Please plan to attend to vote in our slate of 2021-22 officers and hear a mid-year budget report.

See you online on Sunday!

Peace to you,

Pastor Laura  

University Congregational Church Missoula, United Church of Christ

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

Featured Events

Holy Ground, Soul and Spirit in Old Age

Janice Springer guides this small group in an exploration of the questions that arise with age.

Saturday
,
Jun
26

1:00 pm

Listening for the Heartbeat of God: Celtic Spirituality

Janic Springer leads the small group in the rituals and prayers of Celtic Spirituality, an ancient form of Christianity.

Saturday
,
Jul
17

1:00 pm

Power: Claiming it, Sharing it, Using it for Love

Janice Springer and Laura Folkwein lead this small group about recognizing our own power and using it to love and empower others.

Sunday
,
Aug
1

1:00 pm