FAQs about New Vision

NEW VISION FAQ 

WHAT IS THE UCC? 
The United Church of Christ is a Progressive mainline Christian Denomination that came into being in 1957 when two Protestant Denominations merged. These denominations represent German Reformed and German Evangelical Churches, Christian Churches of the 17 and 1800’s and the early Congregational Churches (previously known as the Pilgrims and the Puritans). Visit this link for more information: http://www.ucc.org/about-us_what-is-the-united-church-of

WHAT IS A “PROGRESSIVE CHURCH”? 
The Wikipedia definition of a Progressive Church is fairly accurate. It states, “Progressive Christianity is a form of Christianity which is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, a strong emphasis on social justice and care for the poor and the oppressed, and environmental stewardship of the Earth.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Christianity accessed on 02.13.2017)

WHAT DOES “ONA” MEAN? 
ONA, or “Open and Affirming,” means we have publicly and specifically declared that those of all “sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions” are welcome in our full life and ministry.
We talk more about this looks like at New Vision here: http://newvisioncanton.com/kids-at-new-vision/http://newvisioncanton.com/about-us/open-and-affirming/


WHY DOES THIS CHURCH LOOK DIFFERENT THAN OTHER CHURCHES?
WHERE ARE THE PEWS? 
We are not an either/or church, but a both/and church. It is true that we removed most of our pews, but there are still some along the windows, for those who like pews. We also have varieties of tables and chairs. We like to keep an open flexible worship/gathering space to meet many needs.

ARE CHILDREN WELCOME? 
Yes, our children stay with us throughout the service.  During the sermon there kids preschool-elementary aged are welcome to join in an age-appropriate lesson in an adjoining space. A portion of our worship space is specifically set up for children and family needs. You can find more about kids and families at New Vision here: http://newvisioncanton.com/kids-at-new-vision/
WHAT DO I WEAR? 
We wear anything we like that enables us to feel comfortable and fully ourselves.

WHAT IS WORSHIP LIKE? 
We follow a worship structure, but how we worship within that structure can be very fluid and creative.

Order of Worship

  • Community News – We share how we are sharing our gifts with each other and the outer community.
  • Greeting Others in Christian Love – Building community by sharing joy.
  • Opening words – We take a few moments to corporately recognize God in our midst.
  • Hymns – We sing – a lot. Hymns and other songs represent one way that we join together to celebrate and share the lessons of our lives.
  • Prayer of Reconciliation – We tell God the things we should have done and did not do or ways that we have not stayed in health relationship with God and one another. We pray for God’s continued forgiveness and guidance. It is sometimes called a prayer of confession.
  • Prayer of Restoration – We are assured that that God does and will continue to be in relationship with us.
  • Sacred Readings – Our readings are drawn from the Scriptures or ancient/modern writers. They are used as a basis for the sermon.
  • Sharing Prayers – We share our joys and concerns with each other.
  • Offering – Money is collected to further the ministries of the church.
  • Morning Message – A reflection upon the readings of the day in relation to our daily lives.
  • Encountering Grace at God’s Table – The act of Lord’s Supper is central to the identity of our church. Too many have been denied a seat at the table of grace. At New Vision, our table is open to all.
  • Prayer of Sending – A statement of our promise to live out God’s love in the world.
  • Circle of Blessing – We believe that God speaks into the heart of every person. At the end of our service we stand in circle and bless each other by words or phrases that God speaks into our hearts.

Other things you may experience in the worship space

  • The Candle Table – Historically, members of the Christian churches have lit candles to symbolize Christ’s light breaking through the darkness. Today we light them as we pray to lift our prayers from being only personal to help us focus on sharing our hopes and dreams with God and our community.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MISSION?
We believe that are best efforts are made when we join in the work of other community agencies. We currently have regular commitments to the following ministries:

  • Canton Sunday Picnic – Help us feed the homeless in downtown Canton. Whether making sandwiches, serving or cooking food, all kinds of help is needed.
  • Just-in-Time food ministry – We collect toilet paper and canned food for those in need who come to the Just-in-Time ministry at Grace UCC.
  • CHAPS – Since 1997, CHAPS has distributed personal hygiene products to people with HIV. Toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, bleach, individual soap and shampoo.
  • The Domestic Violence Project – We partner with the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT to raise awareness for men and women who find themselves in unhealthy and dangerous relationships.  Donations of canned food for residence houses are most needed.
  • The Ronald McDonald House – We collect metal can tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. Last year over $4000 was raised for our local chapter in Akron.

More info on many of these can be found on the mission section of our website, http://newvisioncanton.com/mission/

We also participate in other community efforts as the need arises.