Our faith community is a spiritual home for people exploring the power of God’s love. We are a modern faith community seeking a relevant role in a changing world through our relationship to God, to each other, the surrounding community and the earth that sustains us.
Spiritual Essence: This is our most basic understanding of our identity. As a permission-giving, spirit-led body, we base our decisions in four elements of mission, beliefs, values, and vision, and seek to embed them as our essence in all our lives. We support as part of our mission any inspiration or idea that is not beyond the boundaries of this essence.
The Spiritual Essence of the Neighborhood Faith Community is an experience described with these words:
We promise: healing, generosity, relationship, and spiritual growth.
We believe: ~God calls us to surrender, to let love and grace change our lives. ~ Jesus appears to us in our neighbors and in all creation. ~ Faith community is a source of love, joy, hope and strength.
We value: dignity, respect, loving kindness and faithful risk.
In God’s abundance we envision a world without hunger.
Our decision making process is one of consensus…we do not vote. This is a prayerful process of listening and speaking so that all aspects of an issue may be expressed and heard. Consensus seeks to discern the will of the community by honoring individual voices as well as the mission of the whole community. Consensus is neither unanimity nor democratic voting. It challenges each individual to pray and to deliberate as one among many, to consider the good of all concerned, and to focus on the mission of the faith community. Consensus emerges when all concerned experience a shared willingness to take a decision and move forward.
Our Commitments and Covenants
Through prayer and study, as a faith community in the United Church of Christ, we have chosen to adopt as integral to our identity these commitments and covenants:
We are committed to bringing love and peace to our world:
Just Peace Covenant
We covenant together and with God to seek and to promote the ways of justice and peace so as to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of all who experience injustice and violence. (Adopted June 4, 1989)
We strive toward inclusivity and welcome all to our faith community:
Open and Affirming Covenant
We, the members of the United Church of Christ of Bath, Maine, claiming our history as People of the Book, as followers of Jesus, as a faithful part of the Christian Church, and as bearers of the Good News to all who will hear it, do confirm our Just Peace Covenant with an open invitation to all people, including gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual persons, to worship with us, thereby affirming their God-given call to full membership and participation in the life of this church. (Adopted December 7, 1997)
(note: this covenant is intended to extend an invitation to anyone and everyone who may be marginalized or made to feel excluded for whatever reasons: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status, social status, political beliefs, etc.)
We commit to and envision a world without hunger:
In 2007 in an effort to refine our guiding mission, the faith community adopted a mission of “Feeding the Hungry”. Several types of hunger were identified at that time, with physical, social, emotional and spiritual hunger all included. The faith community’s current ministry, the Neighborhood Café, was formed with the intent to assuage hunger in our local community.
Reaching further into the world the faith community is a mission partner in Bread for the World. While we have long been active participants in Bread for the World events such as participation with Letter Offerings, in 2009 we became contributing partners. We also help organize and have many participants in Bath’s annual Crop Walk; one of many such walks all around the globe sponsored by the Church World Service. And we reach out through the UCC Maine Conference with an annual contribution to Our Church’s Wider Mission.