Community UCC was founded as a Presbyterian mission start in October 1888, making us 128 years old. Our congregation has long had a heart for the well-being of children in our community. It was founded first in order to provide children with Sunday school, and hosted kindergarten classes until they were main-streamed into public education in the 1950s. We currently have members who volunteer in elementary school classrooms, we host Girl Scout troops several nights a week, and for the last two years have offered a weekly after-school program for elementary school aged children. We intentionally craft worship and other events in ways that children can feel fully welcome and able to participate.
We have an average of 50 people in worship each week. We offer a radical welcome to each person who comes through the doors of the church. We say in worship each Sunday, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here”, and then we try to live that out every day of the week. We are at our best in creating caring relationships with the people who come to the church. The congregation is very generous when they have the power to meet tangible needs. Even when the answers to prayer are not immediately evident among the people gathered on a Sunday morning, the church always extends the intangible but essential gift that is sacred community, where sorrows shared are halved and joys shared are doubled.
People worship with our congregation because they are drawn to our genuine care for other people and for the broader community. They are also drawn to a child-friendly sanctuary, preaching that connects Scripture with public events, and vulnerable/strong/honest sharing during Joys and Concerns. People can easily make genuine connections on a Sunday morning, and the service is small enough to allow even newcomers to feel like their participation makes a difference. If a child who’s only come to worship 1-2 times wants to light the altar candles, we will support and guide them so they can succeed in their leadership too!
The church is located at 1145 Summit Avenue in Saint Paul Park, at a prominent intersection. We are next to railroad tracks, on top of a hill, 6 blocks from an elementary school, and 6 blocks from lower-income and subsidized rental housing (“down the hill”, and “across the tracks”).
Our pastor, Rev. Oby Ballinger, has served us since December 2009 and will leave us August 21, 2016. Our interim pastor will be announced in the next several weeks.