UCC Leaders: Our Vision of 'God's Extravagant Welcome' Can Encourage Post-Election Dialogue

(Photo Credit: United Church of Christ)The Collegium of Officers of the United Church of Christ as of November 2012 is seen in a file photo. Members include, from left to right: The Rev. James Moos Executive Minister of the UCC's Wider Church Ministries; The Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess Executive Minister of Local Church Ministries; W. Mark Clark Associate General Minister; The Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries; and The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black General Minister and President.

Leaders of the United Church of Christ said Wednesday their vision of "God's extravagant welcome to all people" can allow them to play a unique role in encouraging dialogue after an electoral campaign marked by "divisive and heated words."

The five leaders, known collectively as the Collegium of Officers of the church said the voice of people of faith is needed now more than ever.

"We can play a unique role by encouraging civil, respectful dialogue that builds community and a hope-filled vision of the future that extends God's extravagant welcome to all people," they wrote in a statement.

The United Church of Christ denomination comprises more than 5,600 churches and 1.2 million members primarily the United States.

The group, which includes UCC General Minister and President Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, said they were praying for just elected civic leaders and those who were not, promising to make their views about political issues known to the public.

"We promise to be a voice of hope as we claim the future of this country, seeking community that works together for the common good," they wrote.

"We will do so in the spirit of Jesus Christ, the One who came to show us the way to peace, love and reconciliation."

The other members of the Collegium are: W. Mark Clark, Associate General Minister; The Rev. J. Bennett Guess, Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries; The Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries; and The Rev. James Moos, Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries.

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