Open and Affirming Covenant of Welcome
United in Spirit, we, the people of First Congregational Church of Chelsea (UCC), seek to be the Light of Christ to those who are “sitting in the darkness” due to their often-marginalized place in society. Jesus Christ came to unite, to heal, and to call us into communion with each other and with God. Christ tore down social and spiritual barriers which pushed the poor, sick and broken to the shadows.
As Christ’s followers in the world today, we seek to intentionally welcome to First Congregational Church of Chelsea (UCC) persons of every age, race, ability, nationality, socioeconomic status, faith background, family structure, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression who wish to know Jesus Christ. We seek to more fully embrace, welcome, and serve those from God’s family whom the Church has historically placed at its margins.
-Adopted February 9th, 2020
Located in the beautiful town of Chelsea, Michigan, we are a church of the community, serving the community. As a result, we are a diverse group theologically.
Much like the early Christian communities, we are not known by one doctrine, creed, or formula. We are known by our love–for one another and for the wider world.
Members of our church community serve in the wider community on the school board, city council, and in their day to day work as a testament to their faith. Others serve through a mission relationship and delegation to various missions throughout the country.
In this diverse, joyful gathering of Christian friends and members, all are welcome. So pull up a pew, let us help you find a place at the table, and join in a community of faith that is expressing God’s love for the world in a multitude of ways.
No matter who you are, or where you are in your journey, you are WELCOME here!
Affiliated with the United Church of Christ we understand that our Faith is 2,000 years old, but our thinking doesn’t have to be. We believe in God’s continuing testament. This is why we are committed to hearing God’s ancient story anew and afresh in our lives and in the world today.
We try to remain attentive to God’s creative movement in the world. 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.
Why? Because God is still speaking.
the United Church of Christ (UCC)
Welcome to the UCC Faith Community
We are a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church united in Spirit to love all, welcome all and seek justice for all.
With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where “…they may all be
one” (John 17:21).
The 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” mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. When we read in Galatians: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”—a demand is made upon us. And so 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 is woven into the history of our country.
A Church of Extravagant Welcome
Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. 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 will imagine 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.
what we believe
The First Congregational Church was organized on February 1, 1849, with 16 charter members, and was known as the First Congregational Church of Sylvan. In 1851 worship services were held in a schoolhouse at Pierceville. During the summer of 1852 a newly constructed church building was dedicated on the church’s present site, and a few years later the name was changed to First Congregational Church of Chelsea. This was the only church in the village for eight years.
In 1871 the church was remodeled and enlarged, and because it now housed one of the two heated basements in the village, the church was almost constantly used for community social gatherings and village meetings. Consequently, the village council voted to erect the first lamppost outside of the village’s business district in front of the church. On February 18, 1894, the church building was destroyed by fire, so a new one was constructed. On January 31, 1895, dedicatory services were held for the new building. A plaque by the front door designates the building as an historic structure.
The Congregation voted on December 5, 1960 to become a member of the United Church of Christ.
In 2013, with the generous endowment bestowed to FCC from church member, Gary Grossman, the building went through extensive renovations. The basement was completely redone, leaving the north wall exposed to remind us of where this beautiful building began. The church was fitted to accommodate worshipers of all abilities, by making adjustments to address ADA requirements.
In the following year the Grossman fund allowed the church to update their administrative wing, which includes a new space for young children. This brightly colored room includes recent contributions from the Jack Jeffrey’s memorial fund, providing new play equipment and child friendly decorations. Our administrative wing includes a new Pastoral office, a conference room and updated office space.
Our most recent update includes a new sound system that allows worshipers to listen to the service anywhere in the church, be it the children’s room, the basement or even the hearing impaired in the sanctuary. Thanks to the generous giving from the Edward Visel memorial fund, and other memorial funds our church history thrives and continues for generations to come.