UCC is a family of congregations which exists to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel of Christ, forming disciples in community, on mission to extend God’s kingdom into all of creation.
Our mission is grounded in our church’s identity in the gospel of Christ. Being united to him by grace through faith, we seek to connect people to God through worship, evangelism, and discipleship, demonstrating entire lives converted and transformed by the gospel.
Our identity in Christ binds us to a new community which is the context for our formation as disciples. We were made for relationship—with God, and with each other. Growth in our vertical relationship with Christ leads us to be horizontally bound together in loving community, demonstrating together the life-changing power of the gospel.
United in Christ and community, we seek to join God on his mission to make himself known and enjoyed in all creation. By extending his grace and mercy in word and deed to our neighbors, we hope to see the growth of God’s kingdom and gospel-centered churches in Finland and beyond.
Bible-based and Word-Centered
As Christians, we believe the Bible is God’s word, the ultimate authority in every area of life. While we avoid simplistic interpretations, we do not believe we can abandon the Bible just because there are parts which conflict with contemporary culture. We believe that the ancient truths of the Bible speak to every aspect of the modern world, so we are unashamedly committed to preaching, reading, studying, and applying the Bible.
Together with Christians throughout the ages, we affirm the historic Christian creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed. As an evangelical church, we are committed to centrality of the gospel: the good news about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
During the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries, many aspects of the Bible’s teaching were rediscovered and articulated more clearly than before, renewing the church and giving us an orientation and rich heritage which shapes our Sunday services and ministry.
While each congregation is overseen by a local elder team and has its own distinctives, we are bound in close partnership through vision, shared resources, relationships, and an elder board which oversees UCC as a whole. Sharing certain resources enables us to be good stewards and do more gospel ministry in the capital region.
From the earliest days of the church, Christians have written human summaries of their beliefs (doctrine) in brief statements. The following is a human attempt to summarize the central truths revealed in the Bible which we believe shows unity in Christ and helps to guard the church from error.
We believe that there is only one living and true God, who exists in three distinct persons: God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three, the Trinity, are equal in essence and distinct in function.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19
The first person of the Trinity orders and directs all things according to his purpose and pleasure. He has created humanity to bring him glory and honour through His grace. While He is transcendent, He is also actively involved in His creation, offering an eternal relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Matthew 6:9; John 5:19-24; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2:1-10
Jesus Christ is both the eternal Son of God and the virgin-born Son of man. Fully God, fully man, He surrendered nothing of His deity during His earthly life. His sinless, sacrificial offering on the cross satisfied the Father’s justice, offering atonement for all humanity’s sins for all time. We believe in His bodily resurrection, His physical ascension, and His return to earth to establish His earthly kingdom.
John 1:14-18; I Corinthians 15; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 20:11-15
The Holy Spirit
The third person of the Trinity executes the will of God in this world through humanity by leading, guiding, filling, teaching and convicting. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force but a person, displaying all the qualities of personhood (intellect, emotions and will). Upon conversion, He equips believers by giving them gifts to be used for the good of the church that will bear fruit throughout their yielded lives.
John 16:5-16; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 2:10; John 3:1-8; Ephesians 1:1; Galatians 5:16-25
We were created in the image of God and are destined to enjoy an intimate relationship with God, fulfilling His will here on earth. Sin entered into the world because of Adam and Eve’s willful sin, and has infected all of humanity. Our inherent sinful nature, received from our father Adam, separates us from God, leaving us spiritually dead and destined for physical death and an eternity removed from God.
Genesis 1-3; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3; Romans 5; Ephesians 2:1-3
We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that His death, burial and resurrection were the only sacrifice sufficient to offer mankind atonement for its sins. While salvation is available to all, it is only experienced by those who respond to His gracious gift with faith apart from works.
We who respond are regenerated and baptised by the Holy Spirit, becoming children of God, given a new nature and placed within the universal body of Christ, making us eternally secure in Him. As a result of our new relationship with God through His Son Jesus, we are now called to a life of submission to the Holy Spirit, manifesting spiritual fruit, and doing God’s preordained good works.
John 14:6; Titus 3:4-7; Acts 4:12; John 1:12; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:10-12; I John 5:11-13; Galatians 3:26; John 3:16
We believe that every word in the original writings is inspired by God and is without error. The Word of God reveals God’s nature and will to all mankind, and because of this it is the foundation of faith and practice. We affirm that, while Scripture is accurate in all matters, it was never given to be an end in and of itself, but rather as a means to a relationship with God. The teaching of Scripture has a preeminent positions in our church because of this authority.
II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:12; John 17:17
All who place their faith in God through His Son Jesus Christ are part of the universal body of believers known as the church. This placement requires the association of the believer with other followers of Christ in a local assembly.
The purpose of the local church is to lead people to Christ and to bring them to maturity in Christ. The members of the local church should live in humble submission to other Spirit-led believers and to the God appointed leaders of the church.
UCC is an autonomous local assembly led by Jesus Christ, who gives direction through a body of appointed elders.
Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 2:41-47; I Corinthians 12-14; Matthew 28-18-20; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Thessalonians 4:15-17
We believe that the next great event in human history will be the return of Jesus Christ for His children. This is the blessed hope of all followers of Jesus Christ. While the return is a prophetic truth of Scripture, we acknowledge that the believer should not passively await this event, but should labour with all his might in the power of the Spirit to fulfill His will in our lives through righteous living, evangelism and discipleship.
After the return of Christ, those who have accepted God’s gracious gift of salvation will worship God forever in heaven. Those who do not will spend an eternity separated from Him in hell.
Matthew 24:36; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; John 14:1-3; Matthew 24-25
Our Mission: Build, Grow, Reach
About Our Mission
After celebrating 10 years of God’s faithfulness as a church, we have sensed God’s leading to establish a vision to position UCC to better serve its members and its purposes under God into the future. We are pursuing this vision with a framework of three main categories: build, grow and reach. We call this Mission: Build Grow Reach.
The vision of Mission: Build Grow Reach is an extension of our commitment to the Gospel and to our core values of Christ, community and creation. We want to be able to articulate, communicate and execute all stages of this plan over the next several years.
To that end: our plan is to build a new permanent UCC office in Matinkylä, in the Espoo Christian School (EKK) premises; this office will function as our operational and administrative center. We will also build a new congregation in south Espoo which will also meet at EKK. We want to grow by becoming much more intentional in making disciples at UCC, by assimilating each one who attends UCC into a Life Path which consists of central UCC ministries designed for spiritual growth. We are establishing a missions ministry which will focus on three areas of reach: our partnership with ATI, to train and equip church pastors and leaders for Finland; our partnership with missionaries and mission organisations; sending out church planters and evangelism from UCC.
About the Mission Graphic
Overlapping circles best represent MISSION: Build Grow Reach, because while each area is distinct, they are also interconnected. For example, our new office will give us new premises to facilitate the growth of ATI and at the same time give us a more easily accessible space for all of our congregations, to better serve the whole of UCC as a center of operations. The technological advantages of the new space will also provide vastly improved opportunities for what we foresee a need for: having teaching and training opportunities online.