History

Union UCC 100th AnniversaryUnion Congregational is the oldest church in St. Louis Park, having been formally organized in March 1883, with 17 charter members. Actually, the church’s history began even longer ago when Sunday services were held at Pratt School around 1870.

In 1878, the Clarke Chapel, an outreach of Minneapolis’ Plymouth Congregational Church, was built and became the first church in Minneapolis Township.

In 1883, the congregation adopted the name Union Congregational Church of Minneapolis.

A decade later, Joseph Hamilton donated land at the corner of Oxford and Alabama and, at his urging, the Clarke Chapel, then known as Union Church, was moved to the new site.

The congregation broke ground on the current church building in May 1941, and dedicated the church on September 14, 1941. A new wing was dedicated on February 24, 1952.

The church joined the United Church of Christ in the mid 20th century.

The Christian church calendar starts in Advent, which is celebrated the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. However, our church programming starts in September and runs through May following the school year. In the Christian church calendar, September through the last Sunday of November is called Ordinary Time, but there are extraordinary happenings here. Take a look at our celebrations!

September – The Season of Creation
October – World Communion Sunday, Children’s Sabbath, and Higher Education Sunday
November – All Saints Day, Stewardship Sunday

Advent begins either the last Sunday of November or the first Sunday of December, depending on the calendar year. The Advent season is observed through special moments that highlight the “waiting and preparing” for the birth of Jesus. Look for current information about our Advent programing and our Christmas Eve worship service.

The season after Christmas includes Epiphany, January 6th and is traditionally observed with the celebration of the Magi visiting the holy family. During this season we also celebrate Martin Luther King Day with a special Sunday service.

The next season of the church year is Lent, which begins on a Wednesday (the date varies depending on the church calendar) with a special worship service called Ash Wednesday. We hold weekly Wednesday suppers and justice-focused speakers or activities. Five weeks later we celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday with a service that ushers in Holy Week. During that week there is an evening Maundy Thursday Worship service at which we remember Jesus’ final meal and betrayal. Lent ends three days later on Saturday night and is followed by Easter Sunday, which is celebrated at the culmination of the reflective five weeks of Lent. The Easter Sunday service symbolizes an awakening to our complicity in the world’s suffering, and finally a celebration of new beginnings and new life.