ABOUT US

EXTRAVAGANT WELCOME

Everyone is welcome here, seriously!

WITH GOD’s GRACE WE WELCOME

ALL PERSONS

We know that too many people and their families live with the pain, disillusionment, and frustration of having believed that “everyone” meant them, only to discover otherwise. We know church can be a risky place to walk into for the first time and you may be filled with questions like “Will I really be accepted here?” The answer is yes.

In the United Church of Christ (UCC), churches that are explicit about their extravagant welcome adopt a process of learning, discernment and ultimately a public statement that guides their church and ministry.  The UCC calls these Open and Affirming Churches, or ONA for short. When UCV became an ONA congregation, we declared: With God’s grace, we welcome all persons, affirming differences of faith background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, age, and mental and physical abilities, as well as racial, ethnic, economic, and social status.  We welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry and worship, sacraments, responsibilities, and blessings of participation in our congregation.

Today, we continue working to change lives throughout our community, state, and the world.  We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who envision new dreams.  And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways. We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul. We are a church where Jesus the healer, meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

MEET OUR

TEAM

UCV has several staff members, not to mention the blessings of strong lay leaders because the joy and responsibilities of ministry belongs to everyone, from children to seniors.
Here are our team members who work toward the mission and ministry of United Church of the Valley.

Music Director
We have a wonderful program led by our talented Music Director, Lynne Bradley. Lynne has served as the Director of Music Ministries at UCV since its inception. Lynne has directed choirs at Fallbrook Union High School and in the Chicago area. Choirs under her direction have sung in Europe, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at national and regional choral and music conferences, in Carnegie Hall and on television. A graduate of Northwestern University, for many years Lynne sang with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus. She offers enthusiasm for choral music and an understanding of its value in the development of a sensitive, caring, and confident young person.
Pianist
Luann has been a professional pianist since 1978 and holds both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Arts degree in piano performance. She has authored two piano books for Warner Brothers and Hal Leonard Publications, and is currently working on a third. Luann formerly taught at California State University, Fullerton, University of California at Santa Barbara and now has private students in the Temecula area. She is currently the accompanist for the Southwest Women's Choir, Inland Valley Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Idyllwild Master Chorale, Idyllwild Arts Academy and has been with United Church of the Valley since 2017.
Financial Administrator
Ray grew up in Richmond Virginia and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been in the tax and bookkeeping field since 1986. Ray is retired from the Navy Reserve and enjoys giving back to the community. Ray lives in Temecula with his wife Kerry and furbaby, Kelly.
Office Administrator
Although born in the Midwest, Debbie grew up in the shadow of the Disneyland’s Matterhorn (even before it was built). She worked in the real estate field, specializing in corporate relocation in Orange County. She then went into retail management, helping open the first 9 Staple’s stores in San Diego County. After receiving her certificate in computer science, she worked as a computer programmer for 20 yrs. before retiring in 2018. Debbie has been a member of United Church of the Valley for several years and assumed the position of Administrative Assistant for UCV in 2018. Church Office Phone: 951.698.1520 (Monday & Friday 9 a.m.-12 noon)
Kids’ Church Leader
Ruth Dunlop first came to UCV in 2007, along with her family. She now works as a babysitter, college student, and Kids’ Church leader. Her high school career was spent assistant teaching music to peers at Murrieta Valley High School. She synthesizes curriculum from many sources, but mostly creates her own materials. Her passion and college major is vocal performance.
MEET OUR

COUNCIL

Moderator: Lee Eddy

Vice Moderator: Sandy Selby

Secretary: Debbie Hudson

Treasurer: Michael Turner

 

Worship: Lynne Bradley

Outreach & Ecumenical:

Congregational Life: Ruth Sharp

Member at Large: Dr. Stephen Falgout, PsyD

OUR

DENOMINATION

Our faith is 2000 years old. Our thinking is not.

We believe in continuing God’s work in the world. We are committed to hearing God’s ancient story anew in our lives and in the world today. We try to remain attentive to God’s creative movement in the world. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, and your head and heart are both welcome into all that we are and do. We prepare our members and leaders to be engaged in ministry in the present and future church, and we embrace all kinds of communities and new modes of thinking.

A church of firsts.

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace.  Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities. The UCC’s many “firsts” also refer to the many pivotal and formative movements we have inherited as a part of our common history from the traditions that merged to form the UCC. With our common history, we celebrate that we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry.  We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Our response to the demands of our faith are woven into the history of our country.

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

We believe in extravagant welcome. This is why we insist God’s communion table is open to everyone and the gift and claim in baptism are irrevocable. We advocate justice for all. We extend hospitality as a sign of God’s radically inclusive and transformative love. We teach that evangelism – offering bread to those in search of it – is God’s mission.  Our perspective is global. We work with – not against – people of other faiths.

Never place a period where God has placed a comma.

We believe the church’s mission is to change lives – individually, systemically, and globally. We work to make transformation possible, but trust in God’s grace. This is why we insist our church be a place of vitality in worship, learning, and advocacy. We are committed to working for justice, and we believe that lives are changed through experiences and relationships. We know that we are a people in process and that we are still becoming who, we as individuals and as the church, are called to be.  

We really mean EVERYONE is welcome.

No one should have to guess about the “boundaries of inclusion” of a congregation or other ministry.  We begin each service of worship with an explicit greeting and welcome. Whether you are young, old, or in between, whatever your history or background, whether your faith is an old friend or you are filled with doubts and questions or both, whatever your gender or sexual orientation, whatever the shape and size of your family, YOU ARE WELCOME HERE! As beloved people of God, we gather for worship and to share in life together.  Welcome to this place.

OUR HISTORY

A Brief History of UCV

The United Church of the Valley was conceived with a vision. In 1993 seven people gathered in a home to dream and plan for a new church in Murrieta. The United Church of Christ sent Rev. Randy Leisey to be their guide on this collective journey of faith in the fast-growing Temecula Valley.

As the group grew in numbers, the congregation began meeting at the Murrieta United Methodist Church, and then spent several years meeting in school multipurpose rooms and currently we are worshiping in the Temecula Masonic Center, until the renovations on our new property are complete.

After several years of gathering in members' homes and the Korean church, the choirs’ needs led to the rental of The Joyful Noise Center, on Washington Street in old Murrieta. In addition to providing a temporary home for our choirs, JNC served as the center for many of our programs for five years. After our lease ended in 2005, St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Temecula generously offered to share their home with us for our music and education programs. In 2006, we moved our activities to The Community House, our church office and community center until 2019, in Historic Downtown Murrieta.

In 2002, the church became dually-aligned, as we partnered with The Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

During that time, we formally declared ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, expanding an “extravagant welcome” to all.

In late 2010 we declared Rev. Leisey as our Minister Emeritus.

We are currently without a senior pastor, so we are operating with the ancient church model of lay worship and pastoral care. We are currently navigating the renovation of our first Forever Home building and looking inside our hearts to determine the next step for our congregation.

The dreams of the original founding members of UCV were for a community of faith where God’s people would embrace all persons with love and dignity, learning to celebrate diversity as God’s very image. Since then, United Church of the Valley continues to be a leading voice in progressive Christianity, a witness to God’s inclusive love, a refuge for many beaten down by religion, and a place where matters of justice and peace are taken seriously.

The members of United Church of the Valley invite you to grow with us as we work to establish a gathering place where our dreams of love, peace, hope, and justice for all God's children will become a reality. We are a small informal congregation and typically have about 40 people join us for Sunday worship.

Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)

HISTORY

In 1989 the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ, DOC) approved a historic partnership of full communion. The two churches proclaimed mutual recognition of their sacraments and ordained ministry.

Though remaining two distinct denominations, the UCC and DOC have committed through their partnership to seek opportunities for common ministry, especially when working together will enhance the mission of the church.

The DOC grew out of two movements seeking Christian unity that sprang up almost simultaneously in western Pennsylvania and Kentucky – movements that were backlashes against the rigid denominationalism of the early 1800’s.

In 1989, the Disciples and the UCC declared that “a relationship now exists between our two churches.” The ecumenical partnership rests on five pillars of acceptance and cooperation:  a common confession of Christ; mutual recognition of members; common celebration of Holy Communion; mutual recognition and reconciliation of ordained ministries; and a common commitment to mission.

The Tapestry of Today

The Disciples of Christ is a North American denomination. North America has long been racially and culturally diverse but church life is not always integrated. The DOC participates in the racial and cultural diversity of North America, including in its membership people from all origins. Disciples are working to become a pro-reconciling, anti-racist church.

We honor our heritage as a movement for Christian unity by cooperating and partnering with other faith communities to bring about healing and justice in the world. This is what it means to be “ecumenical”. One example is the cooperative work with the UCC in Global Ministries for the past 25 years and our newer efforts to share staff in the area of family ministries.

We also honor the heritage of Christian unity by standing together in covenant as witnesses to the world and even when we disagree, we can still make room, welcoming all to the table as Christ has welcomed us. Our spiritual ancestors were fond of saying “unity, not uniformity.”

OUR SERVICE TIMES

SUNDAY @10AM

27895 Diaz Road, Temecula, CA 92590

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