Welcome to your new spiritual home.
Come and surround yourself with a faith community that will uplift you with loving support and nonjudgmental care. Experience God's extravagant gifts through worship, music, fellowship, and fun. Listen for the "one sentence" God is speaking just for you. Find healing, hope, and home. Put faith into action and let your spirit soar at St. Peter's! Come, share the joy.
Top Ten Reasons to Check Out
the United Church of Christ:
10. What if the church is like spinach...? You know, like something you hated as a kid but love as an adult because you eat it in ways that suit you much better. Guess what? A lot of people are having the same sort of experience with church...In the UCC, things are often quite different and worth checking out.
9. Variety...UCC churches tend to tailor themselves to fit the people they feel called to serve in their local community. The result: A wide variety of musical traditions, expressions and values that have integrity and purpose. From conservative to liberal, we're not short on variety.
8. No apologies...You are what you are...and so are we; we like ourselves just fine. Find a church where you will fit in, be nurtured and challenged to grow.
7. No waiting...You don't have to join to be active in many UCC churches. If you want to get involved, many of our churches will find a place to help fulfill your need to give whether or not you decide to join.
6. No boxes...God can blow the lid off any box, unfold it and turn it into a dance floor. We tend to be the "out of the box" people. Among our many firsts, we were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery (1700), the first to ordain an African American person (1785), the first to ordain a woman (1853), the first in foreign missions (1810) and the first to ordain openly gay persons (1972). We value education for all people. We founded Harvard and Yale, as well as many historically black colleges, some of which remain affiliated with the UCC to this day.
5. One God, One Faith, One Baptism for All...When we baptize you into our community, we promise that we will never take it back; no matter what you discover about yourself or what others discover about you along life's journey. We believe that baptism places each of us into the "body of Christ" and lasts forever. Some are baptized as infants, others as adults. Some reclaim their baptism from a previous church life. For each of us, however, baptism is big enough, strong enough and cleansing enough to last forever. We believe that everyone, old, young, straight, gay, physically or emotionally challenged, rich or poor, sure or unsure, lost or found, Democrat or Republican has a place in the body of Christ. Baptism is like a badge that says, "You're a full member of the church and no one can take that away from you."
4. Good News People...We believe that No. 5 is good news!
3. "Party" Church...God is having a party and we are all invited. At God's party our spiritual hungering is fed and our thirsting is satisfied. At God's party we get strength, stamina and community support that helps us through the tough times that come to everyone. Feeding our spiritual hunger helps reduce those "I can't believe I'm so stupid" moments, but we'll never eliminate them all. That's why we need friends and companions, not judges (no offense to judges), for the journey.
2. Spiritual Guidance...It's not about commandments. It's about relationships, even with God. The most important relationship is our relationship with God. Second most important is our relationships with the rest of the human family. In balance, these relationships produce justice amid injustice, kindness in the face of meanness and the humility of self acceptance that comes as we sense the presence of a God who knows our innermost thoughts and loves us unconditionally, just as we are. Spiritual journeys can be like the exercise equipment we buy and leave under the bed. Without coaches and workout partners, most of us don't stick with it. We're the "Journeys Wanted" people...bring yours.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO CHECK OUT THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST?
...We're waiting for YOU!
Our Pastor, Rev. Paula Gustafson
Reverend Paula Gustafson attended Fredonia State College where she earned a BA in Psychology and the Chicago Theological Seminary where she earned a Master's of Divinity degree and was ordained in 1983. Rev. Paula joined St. Peter's in 2018. She enjoys singing and playing guitar, jamming with a group of acoustic players through the Hamburg Continuing Ed program. She lives in Boston Valley with her three poodles and two cats. She is active with the Western area Churches in Covenant and is in a small ministry-praxis group. Rev. Paula was the New York Conference Moderator twice when she served Trinity UCC on Gold Street, Buffalo in the 90's and chaired the Central Association Committee on Ministry in Penn Central Conference for three years when she served as pastor of St. John's UCC, Lewisburg, PA. She has regular office hours (see below) and is able to be contacted any time.
Rev. Paula Gustafson is available Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.