Annual Overview of Life at UCC
Tradition is word laden with the weight of history – and quite rightly so. Church history and church traditions have a richness to them that we warmly encourage here at United Community Church. We interweave elements of ecclesiastical annual traditions into our weeks, months and years, to express unity with the local church and to integrate annual rhythms into all our ministry expressions.
All ministries at UCC seek to integrate aspects of the church calendar. For example, life groups might join in the season of Lent with some Lenten readings or by fasting together.
An overview of what this looks like for us annually is that we operate on a trimesterly basis: the three main seasons of our church life are the Spring, the Summer, and the Winter.
The Spring season begins at the beginning of the calendar year, in the heart of winter. After catching our breath after Christmas and New Year festivities, we begin looking forward to the 40 day Lenten season culminating in the joyous celebration of Easter. A long-standing UCC tradition is for all congregations to come together for the celebration services of Easter and Christmas. After Easter, we finish the semester and wait with eager anticipation for Summer.
Summer at UCC – and in Finland – is a slow season. In Finland, people tend to travel quite a lot during the summer, and the month of July is the most popular month for locals to escape to their summer cabins. The Helsinki congregation typically takes a break in July, between 3-5 weeks, while the Leppävaara congregation continues as usual. We always have a summer book study, and it’s also the peak season for UCC social gatherings. Most other ministries of UCC, including life groups, usually take a short break over the summer.
Summer fades into the Winter season gradually. During August and September, we reactivate all our ministries. Similarly to the Lenten season, UCC does a 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting during the autumn. The high point of the Winter season comes at the end of the four Sundays of Advent and is of course Christmas, for which all our congregations join together in celebration.
Throughout the year, we offer various ways of spiritual formation to equip the body. In addition to expository preaching every Sunday, we offer growth classes, life groups, and many other ministries.