Frequently Asked Questions

We at UCC Missoula love to ask and seek answers to questions. Here are some categories you might find interesting.

I’m New Here

Life is hard. God is love. Church is a way to bring those ideas together in a way that provides purpose, meaning and connection through Jesus. We form this community so that we can become more compassionate, loving, forgiving, and justice-seeking. We create a home in the world and a hope for the world.

We welcomed Pastor John Lund as our new senior pastor in May 2023. You can read more about Pastor Lund here.

Whatever you want. We’re not fancy or formal. We want you to feel comfortable.

We’re going to sing and pray and listen to a message, and probably laugh a few times. There’s a printed order of service for those who want to hold on to something.  Almost everything else will be projected on the screens.

We are extremely blessed with strong programs for Children and Youth. During the “school year” we have Church School, outings and service projects for Preschool through High School. See our Children, Youth, and Family ministry pages here.

We primarily use a songbook called “The New Century Hymnal” but we use other music as well. If you see a number next to a song title, that means it’s written out in a hymnal (songbook) in the pew (bench) where you are sitting. If you don’t know the song and can’t read music, just kind of read along, we’ll bet you catch the hang of it soon.

We love the Bible; we take it seriously within its historical, social and literary context. We don’t read the Bible literally or as “the final word.” We believe that God is Still Speaking every day.

You are in good company. We are a “non-creedal” church. That means that we don’t have a list of things we ask people to believe in, and we encourage people to grow, question, and change those beliefs over time. The relationship we have with God at age 6 should not be the same relationship we have at 60.

Theologically, the offertory time is an opportunity to show gratitude for all the gifts God has given to us and to demonstrate reliance on God for continuing to give those gifts. Practically speaking, offerings pay for salaries, lights, heat and a lot of good work done through the church. Special offerings are taken to support other work.  Of course, you do not have to donate.  If you wish to, you can give an offering online here at our giving page.

Monday through Thursday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Sunday: 9:00am-12:00pm
The church office is closed on Friday and Saturday.

Our Events Calendar and Announcements should be able to answer most of your questions! If not, please contact the church office.

In short, we embrace and affirm the ministry of everyone no matter their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability/ability, age, or any other factor. You can read the 1993 Covenant of Openness & Affirmation With Respect to Sexual Orientation for more information. You can also read John Garrity’s reflections on the process of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation, the road traveled from that point, and our path forward.

As one of the UCC’s eight Just World Covenant programs, Creation Justice Churches guides congregations in discerning how they can best embody a commitment to care for God’s creation.

UCC Missoula’s Green Team led our Creation Justice process. UCC Missoula’s Creation Justice Covenant was voted upon and unanimously adopted by the congregation on September 15, 2019. We were officially designated a Creation Justice Church by the national church on November 20, 2019.

At UCC Missoula we nourish intentional relationships and connection through our small groups. Some of the groups have been meeting regularly for 20 years, others run for a few weeks. Some occur in-person, others are on Zoom or a hybrid of the two. You can see our current and upcoming small groups here.

Membership, Leadership, and Organizational Structure

We’ve had a few over the years!

Pastor Jennifer Yocum was our Senior Pastor from June 2018 until her retirement in July 2022.

Pastor Laura Folkwein was our Small Groups Minister from October 2015 to November 2019. In November 2019 she became our Associate Pastor, in which position she served until September 2021 when she accepted a call to Pilgrim UCC in Bozeman, MT.

Rabbi Mark Kula became our Minister of Spiritual Formation, Witness, and Pastoral Care in Autumn 2021.

Pastor Courtney Arntzen was our Bridge Pastor from July 2022 to May 2023, during our search for a new Senior Pastor.

Pastor John Lund became our new Senior Pastor in May 2023.

Pastor Janice Springer, Minister of Spiritual Formation, is on-site at UCC Missoula in the summers.

University Congregational Church (UCC) is composed of its members, who comprise the decision-making body of the church.  UCC’s leadership organization includes officers in the Cabinet, committees, ministry teams, and other groupings as determined by the agreement of its members.  The officers of the church are the moderator, vice-moderator, clerk, and treasurer.  The officers are elected at the annual congregational meeting and will hold office from July 1 through June 30 until the close of the next annual meeting or until their successor(s) have been elected. For more information, please see Leadership and for all the info, our Constitution.

As established by UCC’s Constitution, the Cabinet is composed of the church officers plus the pastor(s), a representative of each Area Coordinating Team and Standing Committee, at most three at-large members, the Preschool liaison, and the past moderator.  The main responsibilities of the Cabinet are to provide direction to and coordinate activities of the ministry areas and committees; oversee fiscal management; approve ad hoc committees; appoint delegates; prepare the annual budget for congregational approval; oversee personnel policies for staff in conjunction with the personnel committee; take action to promote the mission of the church. Cabinet members may serve a maximum of six consecutive years.

As established by UCC’s Constitution, the officers of the church are the moderator, vice-moderator, clerk, and treasurer.  The officers are elected at the annual congregational meeting and will hold office from July 1 through June 30 until the close of the next annual meeting or until their successor(s) have been elected.  More information:

You can meet our staff here!

You can use the contact form on the website, the email links at the bottom of the page, or call the church office at 406-543-6952.

Wonderful! You can check the Announcements page for volunteer opportunities, read about our teams and committees to see if one matches your skills and interest, or contact the church office! We look forward to working alongside you.

As established by UCC’s Constitution, the Standing Committees organize and carry out the internal affairs of the congregation, and are:

Executive Committee, responsible for coordinating the Cabinet’s activities, setting the Cabinet agenda, facilitating communications between the Cabinet, staff, teams, and committees.

Nominating Committee, responsible for preparing the annual slate of nominees for positions in the Cabinet, ministry teams, and standing committees, and for recommending mid-year replacements for open positions.

Personnel Committee, responsible for position descriptions of all staff other than the pastor(s), participating in employment processes, and providing a neutral presence during performance evaluations if requested.

Finance Committee, responsible for proposing the annual operating budget for Cabinet and congregational approval, monitoring monthly receipts and disbursements.

Investment Committee, responsible for managing the designated and non-designated monies in long-term investment fund(s), reports quarterly to the Cabinet on the health of such fund(s) and recommends changes.

Pastoral Relations Committee, responsible for maintaining relationships between the pastor(s) and the members of the congregation, consulting with the pastor(s) on his/her specific responsibilities, reviewing the mutual health of the church’s call and the pastor(s)’ calling.

At UCC Missoula we nourish intentional relationships and connection through our small groups. Some of the groups have been meeting regularly for 20 years, others run for a few weeks. Some occur in-person, others are on Zoom or a hybrid of the two.  You can see our current and upcoming small groups here.

Volunteer Opportunities: How to Get Involved!

The Area Coordinating Teams (ACTs) organize and carry out the broad ministries and mission of the congregation, and are:

Some of these ACTs cover broad areas and have smaller committees for specific needs such as Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Green Team (Justice & Witness), Visionaries (Worship & Spiritual Life), and the Truth and Healing around Colonization Group (Justice & Witness).

Yes!

Other Committees and Programs include:

Other volunteer roles:

Absolutely! We regularly get teams together to build Empower Packs at the Missoula Food Bank, volunteer at the Meadowlark for Family Promise, and join other faith communities in preparing lunches for the Poverello Center. You can get more information about any of these by contacting the church office.

There are lots of ways to get involved! You could start by browsing our Area Coordinating Teams and committees, to see if there’s an area of work which appeals to you. Check our Announcements page for volunteer opportunities which fit your interests. Listen for Opportunities to Serve toward the end of our worship services. Or contact the church office and ask!