More information about our story



“We, the members of the First Congregational Church of Bellingham, United Church of Christ, publicly resolve:


We believe in a loving God, who embraces the dignity, worth, and sacredness of every person. We believe God loves all persons without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, economic or social status, and sexual orientation. We believe we are created in God’s image and are called upon to accept and understand our humanity and diversity as gifts from God. We recognize that the institutional church has often judged persons based upon their sexual orientation, and has excluded these persons from the community of faith.


The church has often been silent concerning societal injustice. Therefore, we covenant to welcome and affirm every person, without regard to sexual orientation, into the full life, rites, and ministry of our church.  We commit ourselves to act for justice and inclusiveness. 


Together, God at our center, we covenant to be an Open and Affirming church community. We pray, as those who follow Christ, for the capacity to envision life as it could be and, with the help of God, to unite ourselves across our differences and to treat all with respect, dignity, love, compassion and justice.”


This statement was approved by congregational vote on March 14, 1999. A January 13, 2008 congregational vote approved the present language with the understanding that “rites” include marriage rites



Jesus taught and lived a new reality he referred to as the ‘Kingdom of God’. God’s reign was already present in our world, IF we just shifted our perception; recognized it; and lived in God’s domain now. Jesus invited his disciples then, and invites us today, to a life of Peace and Justice; a ‘Just Peace’ rooted in the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ – a sense of wholeness for each person and for our planet.

Jesus invites us to a life of….

  • Service to our neighbor
  • Radical Hospitality
  • Peace making
  • Restorative and Economic Justice
  • Stewardship of our Planet
  • and the Building of Community for the Journey.

Our chosen Methods are the Practices of:

Hope; Unconditional Love; Forgiveness; Non-Violence and Reconciliation.

In living out Shalom as a Just Peace church we covenant as a bold faith community, to reflect Jesus’ radical love as an Open and Affirming church. No matter where you are on life’s journey, personally, a Just Peace church declaration encourages us as individuals and as a faith community to educate, grow, empower, and spiritually renew ourselves for peace making, doing justice, and practicing sustainability in our families, community and world. Where there is justice, there is peace.

We are called as a Just Peace church to…

  • Stand with and advocate for, all who experience injustice and violence; the hungry, sick, poor, elderly, homeless, neglected, exploited, marginalized and discouraged…
  • Partner with religious and community groups who advocate for justice and peace…
  • Root out the causes of injustice and violence within the social structures of our society to bring about systemic change and healing…
  • Create a spiritual home of renewal and nurture for all those who do peace and social justice work in the world, at their jobs or as volunteers, sharing each others’ joy and burdens.

By declaring ourselves a Just Peace church, we live into our congregation’s purpose statement: “Welcoming All, Growing in Faith, Living God’s Love, Justice, Compassion




The Mission & Justice Board aspires to lead our church community to deepen our individual and collective  commitment to a more sustainable future, and pursue becoming a more “greening congregation.” Since this climate justice call to action would involve Worship, Education, Building & Grounds, Community Engagement, and Advocacy, we sought Church Council support! The Mission & Justice Board has joined Earth Ministry of Seattle and re-engaged with its local Bellingham affiliate, Multi-Faith Network for Climate Justice (MNCJ), both interdenominational and interfaith nonprofits dedicated to caring for creation.

Mission & Justice has identified three specific areas of focus:

  1. Racial justice
  2. Economic justice
  3. Environmental justice


The Mission & Justice Board sees all three as interrelated and intertwined. We cannot address one without addressing the others. With MNCJ on the local and Earth Ministry at the state level, we seek to lead a deepening of our efforts to become a more greening congregation—part of the overall focus of the Mission & Justice Board. Also, we are in the process of creating a “spiritual pantry” for those who advocate for social justice in their personal and/or professional lives in all three areas.

Before joining our board, many of our members first inquired whether we would be just talking about social justice. If so, they were not interested! What they were interested in was becoming, in their own words, an “action board” that would get into what the late Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis called “good trouble.” As a board, we are working toward living into the latter—as catalysts for action in our wider community and in our faith family at First Congregational Church of Bellingham (FCCB).

We believe that if the church is to thrive and be relevant in the future, climate justice, God’s Earth, and its sustainability need to be intertwined with our spiritual practice.


In terms of climate:

Spirituality – Within all creation, we can best hear God’s heartbeat by caring for wild places, our
town, neighborhoods, back yards, and families. In Jesus’ words, loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Justice – Besides our obligation to care for our neighbors, we are called to change societal systems
that cause our neighbors’ poverty, injustice, and environmental damage in the first place.
Sustainability – At the heart of sustainability is meeting our needs in the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Acquiring more “stuff” has a direct
impact on the sustainability of our planet.

All three, Climate Justice, Spirituality, and Sustainability, lead us to deepen our faith and
commitment to creating a more green congregation as a manifestation of the realm of God, here, to
mitigate climate crisis. We believe it is the work of faith in our time.

With guidance from MNCJ and Earth Ministry, the Mission & Justice Board seeks to lead our
congregation to:

  • 1. Acknowledge FCCB’s past commitments to recycling and the environment.
  • 2. Form a Congregational Creation Care Group.
  • 3. Deepen congregational support and commitment to becoming a more greening congregation.
  • 4. Adopt a mission statement to guide our congregation’s vision and ongoing climate justice efforts.
  • 5. Seek support and ideas from MNCJ and other climate justice groups in Bellingham.
  • 6. Create an annual action plan.
  • 7. Consult with all relevant parties and submit this Climate Justice Plan to Earth Ministry.
  • 8. Transform our faith into action by supporting appropriate local and state legislative initiatives.
  • 9. Share our strategies and actions with other groups in Whatcom County.
  • 10. Build bridges with our local faith communities around climate justice.
  • 11. Evaluate our own action plan annually.
  • 12. Celebrate our annual accomplishments along our journey!


Want to Know More?

  • Talk with a Mission & Justice Board member.
  • Visit Multi-Faith Network for Climate Justice (MNCJ): mncj.org
  • Visit Earth Ministry: earthministry.org

           (Click on: “Congregational Support,” then “Congregational Membership;” or click “Greening Congregations”)
            Also, click “About Us” for more information on Earth Ministry in general.




We recognize that racism - implicit, explicit, systemic, and ongoing – is both embedded and pervasive in the fabric of our greater society, county, city, and neighborhoods.


As such, we the members of First Congregational United Church of Christ of Bellingham seek to be positive changemakers, working to be an ally in the realization of equity, social justice, and civil rights for all people.


Rooted in the radical and loving activism of Christ, our active intention is to join with others who are also working effectively to disrupt and dismantle all structures, systems, beliefs, and behaviors that seed, perpetuate, and extend racism.


Our immediate and ongoing actions include a corporate commitment to recognize and eradicate the root and manifestation of racism in our lives. These actions include the determination to prayerfully name, discuss, research, understand, and remove any vestiges of racism within our own hearts, minds, and actions.


We seek to banish our indifference to the plight of all marginalized, unseen, unsheltered, and underserved persons in our greater community. We seek to collaborate with others in living out and leveraging the power of what the ancient scriptures still invite today – for us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly.



In 1999, we approved a statement marking us as an Open and Affirming congregation resolving to “welcome and affirm every person, without regard to sexual orientation, into the full life, rites, and ministry of our church.”

In 2013, we became a Just Peace church in a declaration encouraging “us as individuals and as a faith community to educate, grow, empower, and spiritually renew ourselves for peace making, doing justice, and practicing sustainability in our families, community and world.”

For over 30 years we have partnered with the Interfaith Coalition, an organization providing services to the homeless. 

We remain involved in our community: giving regularly to service organizations, collecting food for the Bellingham Food Bank, and serving at the Community Meal (link to page).

In June 2016, we voted to partner with Northwest Youth Services to provide for homeless youth. We are excited to continue serving God and our community in new and exciting ways in the future. We hope you will be a part of it!