First Congregational United Church of Christ, Salem, Oregon
Thursday, March 05, 2015
An Open and Affirming Church

Welcome to First Congregational United Church of Christ in Salem, Oregon!



All Are Welcome Here.

We are a Just Peace and Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ.
This church welcomes everyone without regard to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic class, marital status, or physical/mental abilities and encourages all to share in the life and leadership of this congregation. Join us for worship at 10:30 a.m.on Sundays.


2-17-2015: Display on Obed Dickenson's ministry now at State Capitol! Go and check out the current display on our founding pastor's ministry to our church and early Salem in the lobby of the State Capitol. You may also be interested in reading a wonderful and fascinating account of his controversial and challenging ministry called, "Obed Dickinson's War Against Sin in Salem," by Egbert S. Oliver. The book is online at the Oregon Historical Society where it can be read for free, or downloaded for $10.00. It's also available on Amazon.


Interfaith Climate Advocacy Day, March 3, 2015, 8:30-3:30 pm
Gather at the First United Methodist Church, 600 State St, Salem, for a briefing on policies relevant to clean energy, and visits with legislators. Register at Stay for a UCC dinner, debrief and fellowship time following at First Congregational UCC, 4:30-8:30 p.m. To register for dinner, debrief and fellowship, make checks out ($10, $5 for students, includes dinner) to First Congregational Church and put "UCC Climate Meeting" in the memo line. Mail to First Congregational Church, CPC Climate Action Network Gathering, 700 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR 97301


The Peace and Justice committee is pleased to share with the
congregation the results of the Church Goals Survey which took place
last summer. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the response of
the congregation to the three priorities for 2014-2015 that Council
adopted for its work and recommended to the congregation in the
spring. Members of the congregation met on May 14, 2014 to reflect on
the priorities and adopt achievable sub goals for each priority. Those
priorities included extending our extravagant welcome and nurturing
our members; becoming leaders in our community in addressing
homelessness; and becoming leaders in our community and Conference
on climate change. Click here to read the survey's summary.


The Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ publishes the Climate Action Network newsletter.
The August 28, 2014 edition has articles on Connect Oregon, a commission of the Oregon Department of Transportation, CPC Annual Meeting in Pendleton that features an Eco Village, camping, art, open mic, and scholarships for attending youth, People's Climate March on September 23, 2014, etc. Click here to read the newsletter.


Pastor Janet Parker's "Reflections on Ferguson" Shalom article gets mention in the Statesman Journal. Click here.
Pastor Janet Parker and Moderator Rick Bingham met Statesman Journal editor Michael Davis at Court Street Dairy. Click here for article.

Hands Up Don't Shoot-- Reflections on Ferguson, MO
By Pastor Janet Parker

It happened again: an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by an armed white man. This time it involved Police Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9. The shooting has sparked weeks of protests, a shockingly militarized police response, and a Department of Justice investigation. Our nation has been riveted, and, to some degree, riven by this event. As in previous shootings of this nature, a racialized divide seems to be emerging between (many) white and (many) black people’s responses. The complexion of the majority of protestors in Ferguson is decidedly darker than that of the rallies in support of the police officer. 
But that does not tell the whole story. Recently, a good (white) friend wrote me in distress, expressing anguish and a feeling of helplessness over the situation in Ferguson. She observed that it’s often easier for Christians to help people in other countries than to deal with our home-grown problems, especially when it comes to racism. I thank God that not all those whose hearts have been broken by Ferguson are people of color. And yet….We cannot deny that most African Americans experience this episode in a much more painfully intimate way than most white folks. They know it could be their son, their father, their brother, their husband, or they, themselves, at the other end of that gun barrel, or pulled over on the side of the road for DWB (driving while black.) 
True, the facts of this case remain to be established, but if this case has shown us nothing else, it’s pushed our faces into this fact: this country has a problem—a race problem. To argue otherwise is to live in fantasyland. No, America, racism did not end in the 1960s or even with the election of President Obama. It’s time to leave fantasyland and come to terms with the reality of our land, a land still laboring under the historical yoke of America’s original sin: racism (read slavery, genocide of Native Americans, Jim Crow, and now, the “new Jim Crow”—mass incarceration of blacks in our prison-industrial complex). 
Christians have a particular calling to respond proactively to situations like Ferguson for two reasons: on the one hand, Christian theologies have sadly underwritten much of the history of racism against blacks and Native Americans in this country, and elsewhere. Slavery and the dispossession of Native Americans in the US, and Apartheid abroad, were all supported by Christian theologies of God-ordained white supremacy, as blasphemous as that is. But there is a positive reason for Christians to step into the breach and work for change: Our God demands it, our Christ models it, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to do the hard work of dismantling racism. Where to start? I recently re-posted on Facebook an article with “12 things white people can do now” by Janee Woods. Google it so you can read it too. 
I leave you with this meager litany of things that give me hope as I reflect on what has unfolded in Ferguson:
*Captain Ron Johnson from the MO State Police—the way in which he was able to connect with the black community in Ferguson, and the powerful symbolism of a strong, emotionally-engaged black police officer in that position of authority;
*The way in which the organizers organized themselves to keep the peace and to weed out the outside agitators that were causing the bulk of the violence;
*The fact that the highest political authorities in our country to respond to this event are two black men—President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder—showing that progress is possible!
*White faces and voices in Ferguson and elsewhere that are speaking out about this incident and demanding accountability for racialized police violence and abuse wherever it happens.
*Finally, the sense that a new form of political investment and engagement by the black community is emerging in Ferguson to rectify the terrible racial inequities in their police force, school board and city council, and the hope that similar movements will emerge elsewhere. When they do, white allies must stand by their side and support their efforts.

Churches searching in wake of same-sex marriage

Our church and Reverend Emily C. Goodnow were prominently featured in this Statesman Journal article on July 27, 2014.
Gay and lesbian couples share their wedding stories
Lori Ensign & Shelley Wagener and Jeff Standy & Ken Cook were featured in
this Statesman Journal article on July 27, 2014.

Watch highlights of the Rise Up: Climate, Faith, and Action Conference @ Camp Adams, March 2014    

We were featured in a Statesman Journal article on homelessness in Salem: and on the environment and our Mission 4/1 Earth! Statesman Journal Article April 4, 2013

We were also recently featured in

Our address: 700 Marion Street NE, Salem, OR 97301
Map of our address:



Click here for the results of our church's 2014 Goals Survey:



Visit the websites of the United Church of Christ and the
God Is Still Speaking Campaign at and