Our mission is to provide a welcoming spiritual home for those seeking God's presence, preparing us to serve
others in Jesus' name. As an Open and Affirming congregation, the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley welcomes people of all sexual orientations and all gender identities
Welcome to UCCSV
Welcome at the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley is more than a greeting - welcome is what we do.
As we watch children come forward for the Children’s Time in Sunday worship, our eyes also catch the expectant faces of several of our octogenarians; we're not sure whose smiles are larger. Our welcome includes all ages.
As we hear scripture read in accents telling me that English is not the reader’s first language, serve dinner in the on-going ecumenical ministry known as “The Lord’s Table,” consider questions challenging previously-held assumptions, or listen to panel members discussing Marriage Equality, we are reminded how richly blessed we are by such diversity. Our welcome includes a growing spectrum of the human family.
Whether you are navigating the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley’s website for the first time, or are returning for information concerning worship or some other aspect of our congregation’s ministry, we welcome you.
If you are new to our community, if you are looking for a progressive Christian community in the Germantown/ Gaithersburg area, or if you have questions, we invite you to sign our guest book and let us know how we can be of service.
Times of Passage
The following are remarks which were given by Arthur Keys, Moderator, at the service of Farewell and Release, September 28, 2014.
Gail Sheehy wrote a book a number of years ago, titled Passages, Predictable Crises of Adult Life. She popularized a lot of the contemporary research in developmental psychology but one of the important lessons drawn from this book is that in order for us to move through the various passages of life, we need to experience crises. Furthermore, we can’t move from on phase of life into another phase without going through a crisis.
We are going through a major passage in the life of UCCSV today. We are bidding farewell to our beloved pastor, whom we have all gotten used to. We are leaving Carolyn’s safe and predictable pastoral leadership and going off into the unknown. We will be securing interim pastoral leadership and a new called minister, but it won’t be the same.
And at the same time UCCSV is experiencing a time of passage, Carolyn is also facing a double passage: leaving this church that has been her home for almost 14 years, and entering into a much deserved retirement. We have one passage and she has two.
But each crisis presents us with an opportunity for creative change. Today we are moving into the next phase of our life as a congregation. We have sorrow and angst; we are experiencing a real, deep sense of loss. In fact this separation of our long-time pastor from the congregation is a crisis. But at the same time this is an opportunity for renewal, for us to reaffirm what is most important in our faith, that the church is more vital and dynamic than any pastor.
As we move through the fog of uncertainty, we rejoice that we have the opportunity for creative change. We are thankful that Carolyn was our pastor for these many years and we have learned much from her. But now we must draw on the resources of our faith and confront new situations and new fields of ministry in new ways. This will be a wonderful time of passage for us.
May God’s name be praised!
UCCSV Church Council voted to honor our former pastor, the Rev. Carolyn L. Roberts, with the title "Pastor Emerita." A special plaque and certificate were presented to her by the Associate Conference Minister of the UCC Central Atlantic Conference, the Rev, Kwame Osei Reed, during the worship service of Farewell and Release on September 28, 2014. Carolyn served our church for 13.75 years and was one of only three called ministers in our 30 year history. She is retiring from active ministry. In light of this long and faithful service and her retirement, the Church Council felt she was deserving of this special honor.
As the motion attests, this is an honor without any professional responsibilities attached. It is not an employed position. Rather it is an expression of our on-going love and care for Carolyn, our respect for her pastoral leadership and support for her in the next chapter of her life. We all join in sending congratulations to our new Pastor Emerita Carolyn Roberts.
The Church Council Resolution:
The Church Council of the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley celebrates the long pastoral ministry of the Rev. Carolyn Roberts by designating the Rev. Roberts as Pastor Emerita of the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley.
The term “Pastor Emerita” is used by the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley to honor the Rev. Carolyn Roberts whose lengthy ministry in our church has been one of distinguished service. The designation recognizes her formal retirement. The United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley wishes to confer this status upon Carolyn as she departs as our called Pastor.
The word “Emerita” has to do with being retired from active service while retaining one’s title as an honor. The retaining of title is given to Carolyn due to the merit she earned during the time of active service. This previous ministry distinguished itself over a long period of over thirteen years from 2001 to 2014. We adopt the following as the responsibilities of the Pastor Emerita:
- The Pastor Emerita and members are to hold in regard the health and vitality of the pastoral office and to do that by treating the present pastor (interim pastor or called pastor) as the pastor of that local church.
- The local church may wish to include the name of the Pastor Emerita on church stationary, the church web site, and other settings where such listing is appropriate.
- The local church leadership, in consultation with the current minister, may wish to invite the retired pastor to play a specific role in particular church celebrations (such as anniversaries).
- The local church will seek to inquire about and be concerned for the ongoing health and happiness of the Pastor Emerita and will maintain contact to ensure ongoing concern and support.
This motion was unanimously approved by the Church Council of the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley at the September 24, 2014 meeting of the Church Council.
We welcome everyone seeking God's presence to our service of worship and into the full life and leadership of the church. Whatever your background might be – your race, your nationality, your age, your physical or mental ability, your gender identity or expression, your sexual orientation – whoever you are and wherever you come from, we welcome you into our community of faith.
||An Open and Affirming Congregation