“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”
—Rachel Naomi Remen
We are a group of warm-hearted, open-minded, imperfect people who think there is something special about exploring spirituality in community. We are deeply committed to one another’s spiritual journeys without requiring agreement or expecting conformity.
We are inter-generational, rooted in various aspects of the Christian tradition but open to all religions and spiritual traditions, including reason and science. We are Open & Affirming, which is a United Church of Christ designation for churches that fully include, embrace and honor all sexual orientations, gender expressions and gender identities. Every person is valued and appreciated.
God is a mystery. We don't think God can be figured out, but we keep striving for a deeper understanding of the Divine.
We have a variety of perspectives on Jesus. Some understand Jesus as a historical figure with Divine capabilities and potential that is found in all of us. Others understand Jesus as "personal savior." Each has a different interpretation of what "personal savior" means. All respect and honor Jesus as foundational and central to the life of the church.
We value the Bible as integral to Christianity. We also value other sacred texts. We do not consider any text as supreme or unquestionably authoritative.
We believe in each other and in the value of community.We hold God-As-Mystery and that we are in a dynamic relationship with God. We believe life is a journey and that it is good to have traveling companions. Members do not take any oath of allegiance or commit to any specific ideology. Members do commit themselves to being part of a seeking, ever-evolving, spiritual community. Reading the new member litany may give you a better understanding. As diverse a group of spiritual-seekers as College Heights is, many of us identify with Progressive Christianity.
Eight points of progressive Christianity, from progressivechristianity.org:
1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
2. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
3. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to: Christians of all types and questioning skeptics, Believers and agnostics, Women and men, Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, Those of all classes and abilities;
4. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
5. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
6. Strive for peace and justice among all people;
7. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
If you have read to this point and you are still not sure what College Heights is about, please contact us. A member of our pastoral staff would love to talk to you, over the phone or tea/coffee.
Our history of social justice and inclusion
College Heights Church was founded in the early 1960s as an outreach of the Congregational Church of San Mateo. This photo shows our church site before our building was constructed. Our founders wanted to build a church for the growing populace of San Mateo to gather. The photo is by George Conklin, who has from the beginning documented the life of the land, the building, the social movements, and the people of College Heights Church.
We are part of the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination created in 1957 as a union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The UCC is known for its commitment to social justice, including abolition, civil rights, and the ordination of women (1851) and LGBT people (1972) as pastors.