United Church of Christ embracing evolution

In a new statement on faith, science, and technology from the United Church of Christ, evolution is described as a matter of fact and a way in which God creates. Entitled "A New Voice Arising: A Pastoral Letter on Faith Engaging Science and Technology" (PDF), the statement contains a paragraph reading:

Evolution helps us see our faithful God in a new way. Our creator works patiently, calling forth life through complex processes spanning billions of years and waiting for us to awaken and respond in conscious participation in God's own overarching dream for all living things. Evolution also helps us see ourselves anew, as creatures who share a common origin with other species. Today we know that human bodies and brains share the same genetic and biochemical processes with other creatures, not just mammals but insects, plants, and bacteria. How then should we understand ourselves as evolved creatures, sharing much of our DNA with other species, and at the same time as distinct creatures in the image of God?

The general minister and president of the United Church of Christ, the Reverend John H. Thomas, told The New York Times (January 31, 2008) that the statement was in part intended to counter "the creationist approach, the continuing caricature of the opposition of evolution and religion."

According to a January 29, 2008, press release, "A New Voice Arising" is being distributed in February to each of the UCC's 5,700 local churches as part of a new campaign aimed at the scientific and technological communities, intended to promote the UCC's belief that science and religion are not mutually exclusive and to express the denomination's welcome to "persons who devote their lives to scientific inquiry, no matter the discipline." Included in the campaign is a pro-science poster (PDF), with the motto, "For too long, science and faith have had a combustible relationship. But even churches evolve."

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