You are welcome here

A special welcome to all who are new to our community! We heartily endorse the United Church of Christ slogan,

"Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!" ...And you are!


Without question rooted in the Christian tradition, UPUCC unashamedly attempts to follow authentically the servant life of Jesus of Nazareth. Because we know God is present in other faith traditions as well, we often find ourselves on the edge of current cultural Christianity. We therefore embrace truth from all sources and laugh along at the joke that UCC stands for 'Unitarians Concerned about Christ.'


UPUCC is an honest community of faith where no sincere question is rebuffed. At our heart, we are a loving, supportive and compassionate people. We warmly invite you to join us.

 A Year of Transitions

2023 promises to be a year of important transitions for us in several ways. None are more obvious than transitions in pastoral and administrative leadership as both Doug Long and Peg Arcari anticipate retiring mid-way through this calendar year.  The UPUCC Strategic Visioning Task Force is offering thoughtful guidance to the Coordinating Council and Congregation through the initial stages of this transition process. Provided below is an FAQ meant to provide information and transparency to our congregation about the ongoing work. 


FAQ - Strategic Visioning Task Force - UPUCC


Q: How are we going to find our next minister?

A: There are some steps we need to take before we are ready to find our next minister, especially if we are to know who is the best minister for us right now. In general, the process is two stages.

  • Stage one – Doug remains at UPUCC as our Senior Minister, while we reflect on who we have been and assess who we want to be.

  • Stage two – An Interim Minister is hired and a Search Committee begins their work in pursuing a new Senior Minister. (With the help of our Interim Minister, we submit a church profile to the National UCC describing who we are, our goals and the kind of leadership we seek. That profile is then provided nationwide for ministerial candidates to consider who may then offer their personal profiles for consideration to the UPUCC Search Committee. Then, we hire a new Senior Minister!)


Q: How long might this process take?

A: It might be more helpful to consider the things that need to be completed, rather than a strict timeline of dates. 

Things we need to do

  • Complete the Convergence survey

  • Reflect on where we’ve been, and discern where we want to go

  • Create a church profile

  • Search for and hire an Interim Minister

  • Assemble a Search Committee

  • Interview candidates for the Senior Minister

  • Hire a Senior Minister

All said, the thoughtful transition from the time of Doug’s announcement last August to a new permanent minister would normally require, roughly, two years.


Q: What is an Interim Minister, and why do we need one?

A: An Interim Minister (or Intentional Interim Minister) is a minister who is chosen to lead a congregation for a short time, with the specific task of navigating the transition between leaders. These ministers are not eligible candidates to be the new Senior Minister.

Especially given our ‘congregational polity,’ it is important for the Congregation to establish its identity apart from a minister. A break is necessary to loosen the dependence on the former minister while enabling the embrace of new leadership. Interim Ministers are very common when congregations search for new leadership.

Per our bylaws, Interim Ministers are chosen by the Coordinating Council. This is different from Senior Ministers, who are chosen by congregational vote.


Q: What is the Strategic Visioning Task Force?

A: The Strategic Task Force is offering thoughtful guidance to the Council and Congregation in the first portion (the first stage) of the overall transition process. They are not a search committee but instead their work involves gathering information, mapping out necessary steps and, importantly, offering a visioning process that includes the congregation. Per our UPUCC Bylaws, a search committee will eventually be established by the Coordinating Council.


Q: Where are we now?

A: The Strategic Visioning Task Force, in December, recommended to the Coordinating Council that we engage in a consulting engagement with Convergence to help us understand where we are today as a community, where we’d like to be in the future and how to get there.  We believe using outside coaches/consultants will be an advantage during this time of transition.  Having people with an independent perspective will help ensure that all voices and opinions are considered as we prepare to make one of the most significant decisions in our congregation’s history.  The Coordinating Council approved working with the consulting group.

The Convergence group will engage UPUCC with a survey of the congregation, ministries, context and staff.  Following completion of the survey, the consulting group will provide a summary of the data collected.  Finally, all of this work will lead us toward engaging in and completing long-term visioning for the future of UPUCC.


Questions can be addressed to Edward McFarland, Chair of the UPUCC Strategic Visioning Task Force.

Welcome to Worship

UPUCC Offers In-Person and Online Worship


As of November, 2022, a decision was made to move to ‘masks optional.' We do so reminding all:

-to be respectful of the diversity of choices made by individuals within the Congregation  

-encouraging any who have not yet taken full advantage of vaccinations to do so

-and requesting that any who have been exposed to Covid first test negative before returning to church.

Should a significant surge in cases occur in the area, we will move to ‘masks recommended.’

Our worship services are live streamed to allow all to participate. Children are always welcome!



Our primary worship occurs at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. 

Please see our calendar for information as well as Zoom links.


Dress is informal. Come as you are. Though our worship would not be considered ‘contemporary,’ neither is it highly liturgical. (We often describe ourselves as a ‘what you see is what you get’ community.) 

COVID Update: Worship and mid-week activities are being held online. Please visit the Events Calendar to learn more.
COVID Update: Worship and mid-week activities are being held online. Please visit the Events Calendar to learn more.

Umstead park united church of christ


If you understand that faith is a matter of mind as well as heart, and that taking the Bible seriously means it cannot always be taken literally...


If you know that God's love embraces all persons equally, no matter their gender, race, or sexual identity...


If, for you, diversity, tolerance and inclusivity are strengths to be taught...


If you believe that the Christ calls us to be nothing less than global citizens, that the social expression of love is justice, and that spiritual concerns are inseparable from commitment to the natural world...


If you've wished for a more open and embracing community of faith to nurture your spirit and raise your children, and haven't yet found a like minded place of belonging...then we warmly invite you to help us build the family of Umstead Park UCC.