Who We Are

First Congregational United Church of Christ of Canton, Illinois is a friendly, loving and progressive church, committed to making a difference in our community, nation and the world, today and tomorrow.  Our commitments to Peace with Justice, Open & Affirming, Parish Nursing, and Spiritual Formation will enrich and empower the lives they touch.  Our focus is the heart of Christianity, relationships rather than beliefs.

We are an Open and Affirming congregation. Wherever you are on your faith journey, you are welcome here. We welcome individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities, of all races and ethnicities, of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and we welcome families of all kinds.

We are a Justice and Peace Church.  We recognize that when God’s abiding presence is embraced, “Shalom” which we call “Just Peace” results.   Shalom is the vision that pulls all creation toward a time when weapons are swept off the earth and all creatures lie down together without fear; where all have shelter and dwell secure from want; and where all are treated equally.

First Congregational United Church of Christ is a church of Continuing Testament, Extravagant Welcome and Transforming Lives because God is still speaking.

Our faith is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not.
We believe in God’s continuing testament.  This is why we are committed to hearing God’s ancient story anew and afresh in our lives and in the world today.  We try to remain attentive to God’s creative movement in the world. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, and your head and heart are both welcomed into our places of worship.  We prepare our members and leaders to be engaged in ministry in the present and future church, and we embrace all kinds of communities and new modes of thinking.  Why? Because God is still speaking,

No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
We believe in extravagant welcome.  This is why we insist that God’s communion table is open, not closed, and God’s gift and claim in baptism are irrevocable.  We advocate justice for all.  Our congregations extend hospitality as a sign of God’s inclusive love.  We teach that evangelism — offering bread to those in search of it — is God’s mission.  Our perspective is global, not provincial.  We work with — not against — people of other faiths.  Why? Because God is still speaking,

Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
We believe the church’s mission is to change lives — individually, systemically and globally.  We work to make transformation possible, but trust in God’s grace.  This is why we insist that churches must be places of vitality in worship, learning and advocacy. We are committed to working for justice, and we believe that lives are changed through global experiences and friendships.  Why? Because God is still speaking