We are a progressive Protestant Christian church, a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC). We have about 200 covenanted members, and many more supportive friends.
We began as a mission church of the Oregon Conference of the pre-UCC Congregational Christian Church. In 1953, the Conference sent Rev. Thomas McCamant to Medford from Portland to knock on doors and drum up interest for a Congregational church in Medford. As it turned out, interest in a progressive alternative in Medford was high, and the church began offering worship and classes for children and adults in October of 1953, meeting in an old school building on Medford’s leafy East Side.
The congregation formally joined the new United Church of Christ in 1962, and in 1964, a modern, Warren Weber-designed sanctuary was built at the corner of E. Jackson Street and Berkeley Way, not far from the original old schoolhouse. In 1971, the unique hexagonal Lidgate Hall was added, housing the church’s offices, kitchen, library, and meeting spaces.
Today, we are an Open and Affirming/Just Peace/Green congregation, dedicated to following the wisdom teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and doing the inner and outer work that Jesus taught would lead to joyful awareness of the Realm of God.
We believe God is still speaking to the world today, and we’re trying to listen. We’re not a “the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” kind of church. We ask questions of ourselves, our culture, the bible, and God. We work to make ourselves aware of the presence of God, and aware of how we might best represent what Jesus taught in the world today.
We may not seem very different at first. After all, we’ve got a long, old-fashioned, unwieldy name, and when you walk in on a Sunday morning, you’ll see folks sitting in traditional pews, singing hymns, listening to a preacher in a robe speaking from a pulpit—the whole traditional, mainline-church thing.
We have potlucks and rummage sales and coffee hours. We have warm, friendly, genuinely caring people.
But then, so do most churches. The difference is…
…in the mature sense of intellectual freedom that animates the congregation, the honoring of both inner and outer spiritual work in discovering who we are, and the inclusive language in our liturgy and hymns used to express these things.
…that there is never anyone telling you how to live your life or what to believe. In fact, we rarely use the word “belief.” Instead, we say, “Get curious about who you are and who God is. Go beyond mental assent to the actual experience of the divine, the experience of the I AM!”
…that we are an Open and Affirming congregation; that we have no categories for distinguishing people by sexual orientation or marital status, prior religious tradition, or political leanings. Like Jesus, we would no more single out those things than we would skin color, credit score, or blood type. No matter who you are or where you are on your journey, you are welcome here!
…that we’re a relatively small congregation (about 200 members and friends); people know each other’s names and honor each other’s giftedness. If you’re willing, although we never push, we put your gifts in play quickly. Connecting with us is a journey into the mystery of God, with the life and teachings of Jesus as a map.
…that we are a Just Peace congregation; we’ve not only read Jim Wallis, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Brian McLaren, and Marcus Borg; we’ve put some of their ideas into practice. We take the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures very seriously, but we dip into the spiritual poetry of other faiths on occasion. The poems of Hafiz and Jalal al-Din Rumi have stirred our spirits, too!
Our mission statement says it all:
To cultivate God-centered community
through spiritual inquiry and intellectual freedom
When you celebrate with us on a Sunday morning, you can expect a blend of the traditional and the progressive: old familiar hymns and new music; traditional order, but unconventional, inclusive words. Children are welcome at the 10:00 service, then are invited to go to Sunday School at about 10:20. Questions? Give the church office a call at 541.772.8860
You can find our location on the map.
Enter our vast parking lot off E. Jackson Street, or park along the curb on Berkeley Way
Our church has a “come as you are” atmosphere. You will see some dressed up; some dressed casually. There are no expectations for attire.
Sundays at 10:00 in the Sanctuary
1801 E. Jackson St
Medford, Oregon 97504
The sermon is by no means the center of the Sunday worship experience at MCUCC. We sing, we read Scripture, poetry, and lyrics. We pray with words and in silence. We greet each other with warm enthusiasm. The sermon is just one part of an integrated service each Sunday. But the sermon does give a sense of who we are as a church, and how we confront world issues through the teachings of Jesus. Sermons are an oral, in-the-moment form of communication and teaching, to be listened to rather than read.