A very old congregation and
a brand new one
We are both a very old congregation and a brand new one. We came into being as the Church of Christ in Yale University in 1757, a member church of the Congregational Church. In 1961, we became a member congregation of the then recently formed United Church of Christ (UCC).
In 1989, we were one of the first UCC churches in Connecticut to adopt an Open and Affirming Statement, declaring explicitly our welcome to all people, including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
In 2005--when Yale University decided to sever its ties with the United Church of Christ--we voted to change our name to Shalom United Church of Christ, and in June of that year we left our longtime home, Battell Chapel on the Yale Campus. For our first several years we took up residence in Center Church’s Pratt Hall. Then in 2014, we moved next door to the United Church on the Green Parish House, a fully accessible space at 323 Temple Street (corner of Temple & Wall).
Our name change to Shalom United Church of Christ (Shalom UCC) reflects our commitment to the ministry of peace and justice, which has been central to our congregational identity over our long history. We left the Yale Campus, but we retained and have strengthened our identity. As Shalom UCC, we continue our practice, for example, of giving away half of our annual budget to efforts that promote justice and peace in New Haven and elsewhere. We also continue to eagerly welcome students from Yale Divinity School and have offered discernment circles for students who have chosen to be in discernment with Shalom during their process of ministerial formation.
We are a community of faith open to the leading of the Spirit. It is our experience that God has been doing a “new thing” with and through us, as we are joined in covenant.
Grounded and unified in love for the Creator
Following in the way of Jesus
Emboldened by the Holy Spirit
Loving and caring for one another
Embracing diversity and affirming all people
Reverencing God in nature and being responsible stewards for its care
Thirsting for justice and peace and working for a beloved global community
Committed to active nonviolence
Cultivating vital forms of worship
Vigorous in witness
Reclaiming the prophetic voice
Serving as God’s ambassadors of reconciliation and healing
The heart of Shalom UCC’s community life is our Sunday worship, gathering to feed on the Word, the bread and the cup, and the fellowship we share. We seek to be self-reflective about our life together in faith, open to discerning the Spirit’s leading.
Annual Retreat and Other Shalom Traditions
Annually we gather for a day-long retreat to share our mission for the church, to evaluate current programs, and to plan for the future. Our traditions include: a Shalom barbecue in September, a Thanksgiving Eve liturgy and dinner, a festive Epiphany potluck when we 'retire' Christmas carols, and a Shalom picnic on the Green during the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Second Hour programs over dinner provide opportunities to educate ourselves about issues such as ending mass incarceration, abolishing solitary confinement, immigrant rights, justice-seeking in the Middle East, and more.