For too long, science and faith have had a combustible relationship. The image you see here expresses the kind of either/or thinking that often shapes discussions of science and faith. Some people like to describe science as being true whether you believe in it or not because it is based in conducting repeatable experiments, collecting measurable data and arriving at conclusions that match the data. Many consider faith, if not contrary to science, at least completely separate from it because they regard faith as believing in what cannot be proven.
But in the United Church of Christ, we don’t regard science and faith as mutually exclusive, or as occupying completely separate realms. Instead, we want them to be engaged in conversation because we think they each have something to offer to the other. For we trust that God is still speaking, and we listen for God’s voice not just in places of quiet contemplation or majestic beauty, but also in labs and lecture halls, through the lenses of microscopes and telescopes, in moments of discovery and through efforts to understand the world around us. We value intellectual curiosity and the way that science can uncover new information that expands our perspective. Because we are committed to service, social and economic justice, and careful stewardship of creation, we also are interested in the ways scientific discoveries can support or undermine these commitments.
So it is not surprising that since 2008, our congregation has chosen to recognize in worship the mutually valuable insights that can be gained when science and faith are in open and honest dialogue with one another. Indeed we desire a faith that is “scientifically sophisticated, technologically advanced, morally just, ecologically sustainable, and spiritually alive.” (from the UCC’sPastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology).
We want to make clear the UCC’s belief that science and religion are not mutually exclusive, and we extend our unequivocal welcome to persons who devote their lives to scientific inquiry, no matter the discipline.
We are a thoughtful, thinking church.