God is still speaking,
First Church Berkeley is a progressive Christian church sharing a message of love and inclusion in the community and the world. If you are interested in learning more about progressive Christianity you will find a variety of resources here.
We are also connected to other progressive Christian organizations with similar goals. We will also provide links to other sources of information and inspiration.
We believe that love is at the root of God's message borne out in the life and teachings of Jesus. This is where we begin—seeking to love each other. This is also the message we impart to our children as often as possible. Some would like to suggest that judgment is God's first priority. This is not our belief or practice.
Justice & Service
We are called to live out our faith in our relationships in the world. We are called to love broadly and to seek fullness of life for all people. This means that we will act on behalf of others, addressing injustice and seeking peace with our neighbors and our enemies. We also seek service that will advance God's realm here on earth.
Welcoming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People
The First Church and its denomination, the United Church of Christ, practice extravagant welcome. First Church is part of the Open and Affirming (ONA) network of the UCC, having adopted an "ONA" statement in 1995. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) folk serve in leadership roles in churches, conferences and at the national level.
Respect for Other Traditions
Progressive Christians believe that there are many ways to approach God. We recognize and value the differences among Christian traditions and have respect for other faiths as well. We seek to be in conversation with members of other denominations and faiths.
Progressive Christian Educational Resources for Adults
First Church has compiled links to a variety of adult education resources on progressive Christianity. Included are videos of education series, special lectures, sermon series and other resources.
Reclaim! Basic Christianity & Beyond
In 2016 the Ministry of Adult Education presented a 16-week Learning Hour series called Reclaim! Basic Christianity & Beyond, exploring Christian history, theology and practice from a progressive perspective designed for seekers, newcomers and long-time Christians.The series covered a whole range of topics including “Progressive, Emergent and Convergent Christianities,” “How We Got the Good Book,” “Who (or What) is God?” And “Prayer and Meditation.”
Science and Religion in Conversation
We don't perceive a split between religion and science but believe that each has gifts to bring to the search for truth. God's universe is wonderful and mysterious. The same impulses that lead people of science to explore new frontiers also inspire people of faith. Even though these world views can clash, they can also complement each other. We have many scientists in our congregation!
Watch a series of three presentations given by Rev. Dr. Robert Russell called "Exploring the Convergence of Science and Religion: Following in the Footsteps of Charlie Townes."
God is Still Speaking
Progressive Christians take the Bible seriously but not literally. We recognize that scripture is rooted in a historical context. We believe that God's truth continues to be revealed in new and surprising ways and that we can draw wisdom and guidance from a variety of sources.
Churches in the United Church of Christ have taken on the message "God is Still Speaking" as a denomination. If you see a church with a banner or a sign with the Still Speaking message, it is part of our denomination.
We believe that the spiritual journey is an unpredictable one. Sometimes we feel sure, other times our doubt is as strong as our faith. We consider that ebb and flow to be part of the journey. We gather in community to support and be supported in that journey.
Progressive Christians Voices