There is no shortage of fine conservative and fundamentalist Christian churches in town and so we are unique in that we seek to be a place of sanctuary for those of a more progressive and liberal school.
What unites us is our desire to search the big questions of life together, not telling each other what we have to belive, rather, asking, “How is God speaking to you?” We hope to model the teachings of and the ways of Jesus, while respecting, and learning from, other faith traditions as well.
We understand the Bible to be sacred, in that, it teaches us and challanges us to grow closer with God and one another, while respecting the contexts with in which it was written. Our faith may be 2000 + years old, but our thinking is not.
If you are looking for a place that won’t tell you what to believe but will be glad to accompany you on the journey, we might be the place for you. . . . .
If you are looking for a place that doesn’t worship rituals, but loves its people, we might be the place for you. . . .
If you are passionate about saving the environment, we might be the place. . . .
- If you are more worried about depth than appearances. . . we really might be the place. . .
If you are passionate about love, justice and kindness. . .come check us out!
Further thoughts from members:
Why should we continue to be?
“As a journalist you try to get multiple sides of a story and make sure every opinion (within reason) is represented. The most embarrassing thing in this field is missing an obvious… viewpoint or solution to the issue you write about because you thought you knew the issue backwards and forwards. Basically, allowing hubris to screw up your story and cause you to stop investigating. I think the same thing happens in religion and especially to some of the more conservative denominations. There is a feeling like they get it, they read the bible, they know what God wants (because it says it right here) and there is no reason to look any further or examine other points of view. At that point they have lost the story. We should continue to be if for no other reason than to offer an alternative – a living, breathing monument that there are other options within the Christian faith for those who aren’t arm-wavers, don’t believe God to be angry or vengeful and aren’t willing to treat God and as currency that we have and others need to somehow earn through our acts that we deem as sufficiently pius. That is why we need to continue to be.”
-” It is clear that God has a plan for this church, it is up to us to listen. If
it was up to the people who have often gotten discouraged, we have had multiple opportunities to close the doors.
It has never been about us, it has always been………… about God, and that is hard for us to say, since we shy away from big words like evangelism. Rarely have we had a pastor that one could genuinely talk to. (the current pastor is one that we can, I can think of one other)
We market ourselves as a church for those who have somewhere along the line have rejected traditional, organized religion. And God needs that kind of presence in Casper. God needs the fish swimming up stream, the open and affirming, the whole earth church, the bargain basement, the liberal church (what does that mean anyway?)
But I come from a UCC background, went to a UCC supported college, was a UCC missionary for ten years, and there is a place at
this church for people like me who have not had some kind of transforming experience.
God created all equal, but not all the same. There is a need for the country club” church in Casper, and there is also a need for a church on the cutting edge like ours.”
from Clark Walworth:
You asked church members to answer the question, “Why is it important that the United church of
Casper continue to “Be?” Let me give you the perspective of someone who is living without it. Feel free to share th…is message with the congregation, if you find it useful.
Two years ago, Catherine and I embarked on a new adventure. We left Casper and the people we loved at the Casper UCC, and we moved home to Oregon.
In many ways, it was a dream move. We love the climate. We love being beside the ocean. I love my job. Catherine has found a niche as as a potter, as a community volunteer, and as president of the Bay Area Artists Association. We’ve even made some friends, though so far, none so dear as the ones we left behind at the Casper church.
Life here has only one thing missing. Coos Bay has no UCC church.
I’ve been attending a Methodist Church, off and on. They worship the same God, but the experience is different.
Maybe part of the difference is knowing that the United Methodist Church is not “open and affirming.” Even though I’m not gay, that issue seems to matters to me more than I thought it would.
Maybe it’s the subtle difference in emphasis. The preaching is slightly more traditional, slightly closer to fundamentalism, and a lot less connected to my needs as a questioning, struggling, uncertain follower of Jesus.
I think a big part of what’s missing is the sense of uniqueness that marks the Casper UCC. If this Methodist congregation in Coos Bay were to close, people could go to another Methodist Church five miles away, or go join the Presbyterians or the Baptists.
The Casper UCC isn’t like that. It’s entirely unique in Casper. In a town that named its football field after Dick Cheney, your church stands apart, providing a unique brand of spiritual support that won’t be found anywhere else in the community.
That sense of uniqueness always made the business of the Casper church seem particularly urgent to me. If we had folded three years ago, something important and irreplaceable would have disappeared in Casper. I think we all knew that at the time. But we only knew it in a theoretical sense. Today I know it in a practical sense. I know exactly how it feels to have the Casper UCC absent from my life, and I miss it terribly.
May God bless your continuing journey.