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 I watch children come forward for the Children’s Time in Sunday worship, my eye also catches the expectant faces of several of our octogenarians; I’m not sure whose smiles are larger. Our welcome includes all ages.
As I 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, I am 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.
September 10, 2014
Dear Members and Friends of the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley,
Our congregation’s traditional practice of “calling” a pastor affirms the active presence of God’s Spirit in the search process. We prayerfully seek a pastor with particular gifts and skills while recognizing that candidates are also engaged in a Spirit-led discernment process. Thus our church enters into a covenant with a new pastor always knowing that God may sometimes call that pastor to a new ministry setting.
In the days that have elapsed since Rev. Carolyn Roberts offered her resignation letter to take effect on September 30, 2014, we have been keenly aware of God’s new calling for her even as we have experienced a profound sense of loss. It is not easy to think about ending a Spirit-filled fourteen year ministry. These next three weeks together will be a precious time, and we have some of the special events to celebrate Carolyn’s ministry. Let me outline them for you:
- The Church Council will have an informal dinner and conversation about the transition with Carolyn organized by Claro Yu at Ruth Bulger’s home September 12.
- A special congregational forum “Times of Passage” will be held following the worship service on September 14. This will allow us to discuss pastoral transition issues with Carolyn and receive her response. (read the story in Spirit News)
- A retirement reception in honor of Carolyn and her ministry will be held from 3-7pm, September 27th at the home of Arthur and Jasna Keys. You have all received the invitation, Please RSVP and send your letters of appreciation to the church office. And we ask you to make a special financial contribution to this celebration by indicating “RETIREMENT” on the check memo line or envelope that you can put in the offering plate or send to the church office. Jen Fuss and her committee have planned a wonderful program so don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate our life together.
- A formal worship service of Farewell and Release will be held on Sunday September 28, 2014. This will be Carolyn’s last sermon at UCCSV. This will be a special service with music and other liturgical events. The Conference staff will participate and a festive reception will follow.
The members of the Church Council have already been approached by some of you with the haunting question, “Our pastor is leaving . . . what will we do?” We want to assure you that we have already been in touch with our Associate Conference Minister, Rev. Kwame Osei Reed. Let me share with you this brief overview of our search and call process.
- We will select an interim pastor to provide continuity in worship, pastoral care, and program/staff oversight. The Conference has provided us several candidates who offer the specialized skills needed during a transition time. This pastor will not be a candidate for the “settled” position.
- An Interim Search Committee chaired by Leo Saligan with Diane Teigiser and Tim Fuss is hard at work. They prepared a statement of needs that was approved by the Church Council and sent to the Conference. They have interviewed several candidates and hope to move to a recommendation on an interim minister in the next few weeks.
- After the interim pastor is in place, we will initiate a search process for a new pastor in accordance with our bylaws. The permanent search committee will be composed of between 7 and 12 members. We will invite all of you to be part of a self-study that will identify our church’s pastoral needs. And we will develop a church profile for our potential candidates.
- Our Conference office will advertise our vacancy among UCC clergy all across the country. Our search committee will read ministerial profiles, screen candidates, conduct interviews, check references, and eventually select a candidate who will be recommended to the entire congregation.
We are presenting this information so you will know that we are taking steps to think about our future. We will keep you informed on a regular basis. For now, let us express our gratitude to God for Carolyn’s ministry and enter into a time of celebration with her and her family and she moves into a well-deserved retirement. Please keep Carolyn and her family in your prayers even as you know from experience that she will be praying for us.
In Christ’s name,
Arthur Keys, Moderator
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