Children & Youth
What We Believe
Our mission is to seek, celebrate, and share the love of God through…
- worship that challenges our minds and refreshes our spirits;
- spiritual growth that stimulates people in every age and stage of life;
- stewardship that expresses gratitude to God through generous giving of time, talent, and money, and through our care of creation;
- invitation that welcomes all to share in the joy of responsible church membership;
- mission that reaches out in service beyond ourselves into the world;
- fellowship that binds our hearts in Christian love; and
- partnership with the wider church for the work of the United Church of Christ at home and abroad.
We open ourselves to the future, providing adequate resources for a growing church.
Statement of Faith
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify: you call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races. You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen.
We envision David’s United Church of Christ as:
a community . . . because we are not meant to go it alone.
growing . . . because we believe Christianity is about the journey, not just the destination.
in Christ . . . because he offers the very best view of God’s healing love.
that invites all . . . because no one should be left out because of how they look, who they love, or where they’ve been in life. All means all.
serves all . . . because Jesus commanded it, and because when we serve we give God space to transform our lives.
with love and joy . . . because Love is who God is, all the time, no exceptions!
When love has plenty of room in our lives, joy rises to the surface.
We really do believe that gospel means good news, and who couldn’t use more good news?
All means ALL—we are open & affirming
Honoring our Vision Statement and listening to our Still Speaking God, we declare ourselves to be open and affirming. With God’s grace we are a congregation on a journey that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, or social-economic background. We welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry and fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC, members, congregations, and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear . . . for after all, God is still speaking,
— United Church of Christ, “What We Believe”
In receiving God’s LOVE we are called in return to share that same divine compassion and care with others. Love is our inspiration, our motivation, and the goal for which we strive.
We are called to JUSTICE. We believe we are called to partner with God in working for an arrangement of life where the creative gifts of all God’s children can freely thrive without fear—all for the upbuilding of the human family and the whole creation.
We are called to practice INCLUSIVITY. In our welcoming of others, showing respect for all and encouraging each other in the ministry that has been set before us, we honor God’s vision of a world where all will know they are beloved.
We are called to TRANSFORMATION. We recognize that God’s still-speaking voice empowers change in each person. That same spirit of love also works in us as a community to be a transforming presence in the life of the world, working toward God’s vision of peace with justice.
We are called to INTEGRITY, to live the love we seek by practicing forgiveness, embodying grace, and holding each other accountable in all we do.
In all things, we are called to exercise GRATITUDE for all that has been entrusted to our care. As stewards of the congregation’s tradition, resources, and values, we move forward in all things, mindful of all who have gone before, while trusting God to lead us into ever-new expressions of faith into the future.
David’s UCC Staff
Our Leadership Team
Reverend James Semmelroth Darnell
The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell has been the senior pastor of David’s United Church of Christ since December 2019. He previously served as the pastor of Warwick United Church of Christ in Newport News, Virginia, and St. John United Church of Christ in St. Clair, Missouri. He also worked in fundraising in Washington DC for over a decade.
Rev. James is a graduate of Illinois State University (BA, theater history, 2006) and Wesley Theological Seminary (MDiv, 2011). He was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in 2011 at The United Church + Die Vereinigte Kirche in Washington DC. He serves on the United Church of Christ Historical Council and board of directors of the Evangelical & Reformed Historical Society. His hobbies include theater, film, old time radio, German culture, and history.
Minister of Congregational Care
Building Facility Manager
Rev. Bob Turner
Minister of Children, Youth, and Communications
Children's Choir Director
Qian Yoyo Liu
Extended Care Director
Extended Care Assistant Director
Extended Care Site Director
Frequently Asked Questions
What denomination is David’s United Church of Christ?
David’s Church is a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC was founded in 1957, as the union of the Evangelical & Reformed Church and Congregational Christian Churches. The UCC’s mission statement is “United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.” For more information about the United Church of Christ, visit www.ucc.org.
When are services held?
Our worship service is at 10:00am every Sunday, available online and in-person in our sanctuary. Our worship style alternates weekly between a traditional service with beautiful hymns, choir, organ and liturgy, and our contemporary worship service, called Come Beloved, with praise band and interactive experiences.
Do you have to be a member to…have a wedding?…enroll in Sunday school?…sing in the choir?
ALL are welcome to participate without being an official member. In fact, participation is a wonderful way to get to know the Church, make friends, and consider eventual membership.. Families may enroll their children in Sunday school at any time. Youth and adult fellowship activities are open to all visitors. However, being a member also allows a person to fully participate in and vote in church meetings. Access to some of the congregational leadership roles does require formal membership.
What programs do you have for youth and teens?
Youth in grades 5-7 are invited to participate in PAKT (Parents and Kids Together). This two year program engages parents and youth in questions about faith and sexuality. Junior high youth participate in Confirmation, a year-long program to affirm the Christian faith as their own. High school youth participate in youth group. We offer mission trips annually for all of our youth to engage in mission and social justice together.
Is there an unofficial dress code? What should I wear to worship?
No, there’s not. On any Sunday morning, you’ll see some members and friends dressed in everything from suits and ties to jeans and t-shirts. Please wear what is most comfortable to you. We care about welcoming you, not trying to make you coordinate your fashions.
Do I have to worry about sitting in someone’s “assigned space”?
There’s plenty of room for all at David’s UCC. Please feel welcome to sit wherever you feel most comfortable in our sanctuary.
What about Communion?
Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and on designated holy days, such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and Christmas Eve. All baptized persons of any age are welcome to receive communion.
How can I find out more about the church?
Visitors are always welcome. Come to any of our Sunday services or join in the many activities and events. During Sunday services, all members and guests are encouraged to fill out connect cards to receive more information. Visit our “I’m New” page here.
Are children welcome in the service?
Children are welcome in every aspect of our congregation!
We recognize that children can become restless during worship and therefore provide children’s activity bags. For those parents who choose it, we have child care available for ages 0-4 .
Our Sunday School, Holy Moly, for children ages 5-12, meets throughout the school year during the 10:00 AM service. Children remain with their parents for the beginning of the service and are then dismissed to Holy Moly.
What programs do you have for preschoolers and elementary school children?
Ministries for children are an important part of life at David’s United Church of Christ. In addition to Holy Moly, we offer a children’s choir, the Christ Choir for children of reading age. We offer a variety of events throughout the year for children and their families.
What education programs do you have for adults?
We offer a wide variety of opportunities for adult education, fellowship, and community service. David’s UCC sponsors many social events that provide opportunities to meet new friends, enrich old friendships, and work together in service to others. Examples include the Lectionary Bible Study, Fireside Connections, Movies with the Minister, Under the Stars, and the Understanding Project.
What do I call the pastor? How should I address the members of the congregation?
We’re all on a first name basis at David’s UCC. Our pastor prefers to be called Rev. James or Rev. Semmelroth Darnell.
What if I don’t know the hymns?
We sing 2-3 songs in each worship service. Sometimes they are songs new to all of us. Just follow along with the words on our projection screen or in the hymnal.
What about Baptism?
Baptism is a Christian sacrament demonstrating one’s belief in Jesus Christ and commitment to live a Christian life. We baptize infants, children, youth, and adults in the United Church of Christ. If you are interested in being baptized into the Christian faith, please contact our pastor.