Who We Are
At Miami Shores United Church of Christ, we proudly proclaim to be unapologetically Christian, and unabashedly progressive. We claim to be followers of the Way of Christ and believed that we are called to be in community with shared values, shared missions and shared commitments but not necessarily shared beliefs.We acknowledge that we are all on a faith journey, and we accept people where they are at with no reservations. We invite everyone into the life of the church and do not enforce any set of beliefs or doctrines that go against scientific education and sound reason.
Our faith is over 2,000 years old, but our thinking is not. At Miami Shores UCC we believe that the Bible is a guide to the understanding of God through the experiences of our Jewish heritage and the founding voices of our faith. We take the Bible very seriously, but in all conscience do not take it literally. This is because we believe that the Spirit of God is still flowing and moving people and communities to listen to God’s still speaking voice. A voice that has allowed our church and our denomination to take steps and be a church of first.
As a denomination, we have ensured that all people are welcomed at God’s table. As an Open and Affirming church, we ensured that God’s grace and love is given freely to all people regardless of color, cultural differences, sexual orientation and expression, and economic level. We believe that there is still room at the table for all who wish to experience the transformational power of the love and the Way of Christ.
Reaching beyond our four walls and calling out into the wilderness, we are committed to justice and witness so that people can see and not just be told that we are followers of Christ. We are called to love and love in abundance all the people of this tiny blue marvel in space. And we are called to be guardians and defenders of all expressions of creation, ensuring that the Earth and all creation can live in a just and peaceful way.
We are the people of the United Church of Christ.
What We Believe
The United Church of Christ testimonies of faith.
We believe in the triune God: Creator, resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church, and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable. It is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized ‘belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.‘ No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life’s journey – notwithstanding race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, class or creed – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized – past, present and future – are connected to each other and to God through the sacrament of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community’s promise of ‘love, support and care’ for the baptized – and we promise that we won’t take it back – no matter where your journey leads you.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christ’s table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, we, the many people of God, are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christ’s sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christ’s presence among us along with a ‘cloud of witnesses’ – our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. “That they may all be one.” (John 17:21) “In essentials–unity, in nonessentials–diversity, in all things–charity,” These UCC mottos survive because they touch core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are known for their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, love and unity in the midst of our diversity are our greatest assets.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. ‘To believe is to care; to care is to do.’
We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church. As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted.
We believe in the power of peace and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear … for after all, God is still speaking, …