Moving Forward

Better Together


Overview & History of the Process

How to Join the Newly Unified Church

Letters & Articles About this Process




     St. Paul's UCC of Robesonia and Zion UCC of Womelsdorf were in a "Moving Forward Together" process of looking at the potential of forming a new church together, which would worship at the present location of St. Paul's UCC.  That new church is the "United Church of Christ of Robesonia", which was officially formed on January 1, 2023 and celebrated its opening worship service on Sunday, January 8, 2023.


     This page was created to provide information and updates on our Moving Forward Together process, as the process was unfolding.


     We have a combined Moving Forward Together committee.  Serving on the MFT committee are 6 members from each church, including: Kirk Aulenbach (co-chair from St. Paul's UCC), Cory Putt (co-chair from Zion UCC), and the pastors of both churches.


     For years, St. Paul's UCC and Zion UCC have been sharing in combined ministries in our community, not just with each other, but also through the Conrad Weiser Ministerium and the Covenant Association and with other churches in our local area.  Those combined ministries have been growing in recent years, and include Thanksgiving Eve and Lenten evening worship services, VBS, MB&S, local mission projects, local and global mission outreach, combined Bible studies, prayer vigils, and more. 


     Prior to the pandemic, Zion UCC began the process of listing their building for sale.  During the pandemic, our churches began working even closer together.  We shared in a combined Bible study based on the book The Post-Quarantine Church, and explored the possibilities of how we could best minister to our community in this new world.


      In September of 2021, Zion UCC in Womelsdorf sold their church building to another congregation.  The congregation of St. Paul's UCC closed our doors that Sunday morning, that we might be able to join with Zion UCC in worship together on Sunday, September 5, 2021 for Zion UCC's final worship service in their building.  The Sundays following, Zion UCC began worshiping in the Miller Fellowship Hall at St. Paul's UCC in Robesonia.  On Sunday, November 21, 2021, St. Paul's UCC & Zion UCC began worshiping together in the sanctuary of St. Paul's UCC in Robesonia.


     The Consistories (i.e. the "Board of Directors") of each congregation began meeting together regularly to discuss and better discern where God might be leading our congregations.  The Conference Minister and Associate Conference Ministers of our Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC recommended the book Better Together, which we studied together.  That book provides recommendations, cautions, and what are healthy and unhealthy processes for bringing two churches together, as we are seeking to have the strongest and healthiest outcome possible.  The book invited us to answer the following four questions before proceeding:

Would our congregation be better by coming together than remaining separate?
Could we accomplish more together than we could separately?
Would our congregation be better served if we joined together?
Could the kingdom of God be further enlarged by joining together?

The leadership of St. Paul's UCC & Zion UCC unanimously and enthusiastically answered all four of those questions with a resounding, "Yes."

     The Consistory of St. Paul's UCC gave updates and invited questions during the December 2021 Annual Congregational Meeting, while the congregation of Zion UCC also gathered for a Special Congregational Meeting for updates and questions.  There was consensus for continual exploration.


     By January 2022, a combined "Moving Forward Committee" was formed, composed of six members from each congregation, including the Pastors of both congregations, and co-chaired by a member from each congregation.  We unanimously agreed upon the "Folding-In" process found in the book Better Together, which is also the process recommended for our situation by the Conference and Associate Conference Ministers of the PSEC, to lead us to a strong, healthy, 1+1=3 growing church.


     In February 2022, the Consistories made a formal announcement to the two congregations that, "Zion UCC and St. Paul’s UCC have formed a Moving Forward Committee to explore the process and various aspects of creating a new congregation together. Through prayer, study, and consultation, we believe God’s Spirit is leading us to have intentional conversation with one another about the possibility of what we could do together."  The committee also read the announcement during the Sunday, February 20 worship service.


     In March 2022, the Consistories called for a special congregational meeting to take place on April 3 to provide updates about the process, invite questions, and invite members from both congregations to join the Naming Sub-Committee, which has the task of, "As Zion UCC and St. Paul’s UCC explore the possibility of creating a new congregation together, we have before us the question of, 'What will that new congregation be called?' ....  Our hope is that the naming process will lead us to greater unity in a sense of consensus to a name to which the Holy Spirit is leading us."


     On Sunday, May 22, 2022 both congregations had meetings to vote in a straw poll on moving forward together.  The members of both congregations unanimously responded with a "yes" vote to, "Do you currently believe that God is leading our two congregations to continue to explore the vision of forming one church together?"


     A great deal of work continued over the summer of 2022.  In the September 2022 newsletter, the Moving Forward Committee provided an update on the work done over the summer, and the Consistories issued a call for a special Informational Congregational meeting for Sunday, September 11, 2022 after worship.  


     A meeting after worship on Sunday, October 9, 2022 was called to distribute and discuss the information on the "Tentative Time Line" sheet and the "Vetting the Name Possibilities" packet.  Those can be found below.


     A formal Congregational Meeting for both congregations was held on Sunday, October 16, 2022 after worship to vote on the name of the potential new church.  The name chosen by our members is "United Church of Christ of Robesonia."


     After worship on Sunday, October 23, 2022, information was distributed during the fellowship luncheon.  This information included the proposed motions, resolutions, constitution and bylaws of the new church, and a FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet.  Members are invited to take those home with them, prayerfully read over them, and come back the following week for a Question and Answer time.


     After worship on Sunday, October 30, 2022 we had a Question and Answer period to ask questions about the proposed resolutions for our two congregations to form a new church together.  A second Question and Answer period was offered on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 6:30pm.  The Moving Forward Committee and Consistories met on Wednesday, November 22 to review the input recieved and made a few updates to the proposed motions.  Those updates were presented after worship on Sunday, November 6, 2022 during an additional Question and Answer period.  All three of the those Question and Answer periods were able to be attended in person or by Zoom.


     In the afternoon of Friday, November 11, 2022, our attorney emailed our two churches ammendents in regard to some of the wording of the resolutions and first sentence of the Preamble to the proposed Constitution.  The latest version of those documents can be found below.

     On Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 11:30am (following the 10:15am worship service) thas was a formal Congregational Meeting to vote on the vision of forming a new church together.  The motion passed with overwhelming support, with one abstention and the rest of the votes being "Yes."


     On Sunday, November 20, 2022 after the 10:15am worship service, the response sheets were handed out for members to indicate if they would like to join the new church and to update their contact information.  Those sheets can be found below.


     On Sunday, January 1, 2023, our congregations will be one.  We plan to launch a new website with a new domain name in the beginning of the new year.


     On Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 10:15am we will have a "Closing Worship Service" to prayerfully lift up to God our separate identities coming to a close.


     On Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 10:15am we will have our "Opening Worship Service" to joyously begin our new unified church together, pray for God's blessings upon our ministries, offer vows of membership and pastoral leadership, and enjoy in fellowship after worship.


     From January 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023 we will have an "Open Charter."  Those joining during that period will be "Charter Members" (Founding Members) of our newly unified church.  Joining is automatic for the Homebound/Shut-In Members of Zion UCC and St. Paul's UCC.  For all other members, who do not respond by April 30, 2023 with their expressed desire to join the newly unified church, the Spiritual Council will receive a "No Response" as a withdraw from membership.



How to Join Our Newly Combined Church

Three or Four Step Process


Step #1

  Read:  Cover Letter for "How to Join Our Newly Combined" Church - November 15, 2022

  Return the following two forms, is the first step in joining the new unified church:

     Household Information Sheet - November 15, 2022

     Individual Information Sheet - November 15, 2022


Step #2

  Read: Cover Letter for Connections and Time & Talent - November 22, 2022

  Return the following two forms, is the second step in joining the new unified church:

     Time & Talent Sheet - November 22, 2022

     Connections Sheet - November 22, 2022


Step #3

   If you are already a member of Zion UCC or St. Paul's UCC, skip to Step #4.

   If you are not currently a member of Zion UCC or St. Paul's UCC the next step is either:

      (1)  (If a member of another church) a Letter of Transfer from your current church; or

      (2)  A copy of your baptismal certificate; or

      (3)  A letter of baptism record at the church at which you were baptized; or

      (4)  Becoming baptized; or

      (5)  Joining an upcoming confirmation class.


Step #4

  Participate in worship in-person (preferred if possible) or via Zoom (if needed) and affirming the membership vows during one of the following worship services:

       Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 10:15am
       Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 10:15am
       Wednesday, February 22 at 6:30pm
       Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 10:15am
       Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 6:30pm
       Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 10:15am

    If you plan to participate via Zoom, please use the following Zoom information:

          Meeting ID: 104 401 368

          Passcode: 301301

To log in either use the Zoom app; or go to and click “Join A Meeting;” or use the following address:;
or use a telephone by calling: +1 301 715 8592 (Washington DC).


Note for Homebound/Shut-in Members:

Joining is automatic for all of our Homebound/Shut-in Members.  Homebound/Shut-in Members may complete any of the above steps, but are not required to do so.  If you are unsure whether this applies to you, please contact either Pastor or a member of the Spiritual Council.


Questions About Joining:

If you have any questions about joining, baptism, confirmation, Letters of Transfer, etc, please contact the church office or either Pastor.



Letters & Articles

     Please click on the following links for letters and articles to the congregation.


  Motion for Formation of the New Church - Revised as of November 11, 2022


  Motion for Transition from Two Congregations to One - Revised as of November 11, 2022


  Constitution and Bylaws - Revised as of November 11, 2022


  Frequently Asked Questions - as of October 23, 2022


  Congregational Behavioral Covenant - as of October 19, 2022


  Sample Ballot - for November 13, 2022



  Tentative Time Line - as of October 4, 2022


  Vetting the Name Possibilities handout from Sunday, October 9, 2022


  Announcement of September 11, 2022 Congregation Informational Meeting


  September 2022 Newsletter Article - Updates & Progress


  March 2022 - Letter to the Congregations

       with Announcement for the April 3, 2022 Congregation Informational Meeting


  February 2022 - Letter to the Congregations




     In addition to the above links, there are past articles of activities and ministries in which our two congregations have been participating in together on our 2021 Past News and 2022 Past News web pages and in The Herald monthly newsletter. 

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