Our Mission at Southwood UCC

Southwood UCC – That Church is us, and YOU are welcome here.

Believing in the essential ONEness of creation, Southwood UCC affirms the fundamental unity of all people, local and global, as well as our ONEness with creation itself.  All people are connected, regardless of socio-economic class, race, or nationality.

One of the ways our church, “that church,” extends its mission beyond our local community is in our covenantal relationship with the United Church of Christ.  With UCC, we participate in broader missional objectives beyond our neighborhoods.



Several years ago, our congregation engaged in conversations to identify what it is that we are about.  The acronym, G.I.F.T.S., describes us very well:

Give … to the those in need

At Southwood, we care for those who are struggling and work to ensure that all of God’s children have opportunities to experience their fullest calling.

Invest … in the wider church

At Southwood, we are in a partnership with the wider visioning movement called the United Church of Christ.  We benefit from and provide support for the UCC by investing in its world-changing work.

Fellowship … in community

At Southwood, we are in a community of friends and families committed to creating an atmosphere where we are excited to be and enthusiastic about inviting others to share with us.

Teach … a progressive theology

At Southwood, we seek to live the questions and cultivate an evolving faith of both heart and mind

At Southwood, we seek to understand the systemic causes of oppression and inequality and work toward God’s dream of peace with justice.

Seek … social justice and peace

At Southwood, we seek to understand the systemic causes of oppression and inequality, and work toward God’s dream of peace with justice.

Supporting Our Community

Southwood UCC members and friends donate time, talent, and treasure to a variety of area organizations serving those in need.  Among these are the following:


Stepping Stones

Jubilee House / Refugee Causes

Crop Walk

Heifer Project

Polar Plunge

Neighbors in Need

Summer Lunch Program

Emergency Relief (hurricanes, etc.)

Blue Springs Terrace

Festival of Sharing

It almost goes without saying, but needs to be said anyway … we have a whole lot of fun doing all this!

Supporting Our Denomination

The United Church of Christ supports a variety of local, national and global causes. Southwood contributes to several denominational funds and initiatives:

Conferences, UCC Institutions

New Church Starts

Youth Ministries

Supporting Pastoral Leadership

National “Stillspeaking Ministry”

Neighbor in Need and Council for American Indian Ministry

UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)

Christmas Fund Offering

Southwood also provides financial support for the UCC’s three theological seminaries (Chicago, United, and Eden) as well as for Blue Springs Terrace, a residence for retired UCC clergy, located in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Supporting Our World

Joining with about 8,000 other congregations and organizations across the country, Southwood participates in:

Church World Service’s Programs

UCC Coffee Project and Fair Trade

Environmental Recycling

In the interest of being good stewards of our earth, Southwood encourages recycling. Aluminum cans are collected in an indoor bin located in the hallway leading to the fellowship hall. Funds obtained from aluminum can recycling are donated to REAP.

Invitation for Engagement

From time to time, information is displayed in the narthex offering opportunities to become involved in our various missions.

In addition to special designated offerings, baskets and other containers are available for donations and recyclable items.

Please feel free to participate as you are led.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  And especially, if you have missional causes and concerns of your own, please share.


The Fundamental Unity of Creation finds affirmation in the Jewish “Shema” and in the New Testament (Mark 12:29 and parallel passages).  Based on our essential ONEness, Jesus invites us to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love each other as we love ourselves. Spiritually, we are literally sisters and brothers, one with another.  According to H. Richard Niebuhr, the essential mission of the church can be summarized as simply: “to increase among people the love of God and neighbor.”



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