We Are Bethel-Bethany United Church of Christ
It’s a little country church in the middle of the big city.
Located on 54th and Locust Streets in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Bethel-Bethany is something of a paradox. While the quaint little church building and the tight-knit yet welcoming congregation might suggest a more rural setting, Bethel-Bethany lives squarely in the center of an urban neighborhood, and the members wholly embrace our mission here.
We celebrate our diversity.
We welcome people of all ages, races and faith backgrounds.
We are accessible to all with our new addition.
Bethel-Bethany UCC is the result of a successful union between Milwaukee’s Bethel and Bethany churches in 1975. Bethel was founded by members of Friedens’ Evangelical Church in 1911. Bethany was founded in turn, by members of the Bethel congregation in 1924.
In April, 2002, the congregation of Bethel-Bethany UCC initiated a series of strategic planning sessions to determine the “vision” and goals of the church. As a result, the following list of vision statements was finalized in March, 2003.
Bethel-Bethany strives to be…
- A congregation that is open to God’s spirit and is spiritually alive (Spirituality Vision)
- A congregation that has an inclusive, active youth program (Youth Vision)
- A church that operates under a balanced budget and is financially secure (Financial Stewardship Vision)
- A building that is dynamic, flexible, accessible, safe and well maintained (Properties, Facilities and Buildings Vision)
- A leader in addressing issues and concerns of contemporary society (Social Justice Vision)
- A church with a diverse cross section of members from all socioeconomic groups, races, ages and family structures (Diversity Vision)
- A church that serves God’s people in both the urban and global community (Membership: Growth, Evangelism and Community Vision)
- A church where the members are actively involved in the “mission of the church” and contribute their time and talents (Membership: Using the Congregations Talents and Interests Vision)
- A church that is recognized throughout the Milwaukee area for their spiritual power, musical diversity, thoughtful and practical theology and visible love from one another (worship Vision)
- A church that has an organized and informative process for helping members and staff become leaders in the church (Leadership and Staff Vision)
About United Church of Christ
Articles of Faith: We acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Hebrew and New Testament as the Word of God and our guide of faith and life. As authoritative interpretations of the essential truth in the Scriptures, we make liturgical, devotional, and instructional use of such doctrinal testimonies of the United Church of Christ as the Apostles’ Creed, Luther’s Catechism, Augsburg Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, the Evangelical Catechism and the UCC Statement of Faith of 1982.
Interpretation: Where these testimonies differ, our people, in accordance with the liberty of conscience inherent in the Gospel, are allowed to adhere to the interpretation of one such tradition of the United Church of Christ. In each case, our guide is the Word of God.
The United Church of Christ is a Christian denomination formed in 1957 by the merger of the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. Although we are a young denomination, our roots are deep in Protestantism. We celebrate our diversity. We are people of all ages, races and faith backgrounds. We encourage members to develop their own beliefs, guided by Scripture and Spirit.
Peace is central to the identity of the United Church of Christ. As a Just Peace Church, we affirm that peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of social justice. We are engaged in Christ’s ministry of healing, teaching and comforting in the United States and in more than 50 countries. We are Opening and Affirming, as we strive to encourage a policy of non-discrimination in employment, volunteer service and membership policies with regard to sexual orientation.
We believe that God is still speaking to us today, and proclaim this belief through our “Still Speaking Ministry.”