UCC + DOC = UCV
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.
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.
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.
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.
History of the Disciples of Christ (DOC)
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.”
A Brief History of the United Church of the Valley
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.