Paths to Federation
The Call to Renewal
In 1976, the Congregational and Methodist churches in Auburndale appointed a Joint Study Committee which recommended exploration of a more unified and organic relationship. Following an Operation Weathervane questionnaire and report, forums, and house meetings, both churches prepared a statement on The Purpose of Church Union: A Call to Renewal. This was followed by extensive reports on church property, finances, membership, structure, and staffing resulting in a Plan of Federation and Outline of Federation Agreements.
After further discussion, an evening prayer vigil, and service, each church voted on February 3, 1980, to federate as The United Parish of Auburndale with recognition of its responsibility to the larger denominations of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.
The Call to Renewal served as the focus for creation of a common ministry, as a mission statement, and as an individual and corporate commitment to specific tasks in mission. The long paths to federation, and sometimes difficult and painful decisions on structure, property, finances, education programs, outreach, and pastoral leadership, all reflected the Call’s commitment to an open process of study and participation in decision making by the lay members.
Many members involved with the federation are no longer with us; many new members and friends have since joined us. The decisions that now face the church challenge us all to continuing church renewal and commitment to mission as set forth in the original Call to Renewal.
We are UNITED METHODIST.
We are CONGREGATIONAL (United Church of Christ).