About Bern UCC
We are a welcoming and caring Christian community whose purpose is to share the love of God for all those needing food for body and soul.
- To place God first in our lives.
- To share in God's love and grace through worship.
- To grow and be strengthened through prayer and scriptural studies.
- To accept the joy and cost of discipleship, following Christ's example.
- To be good stewards of who we are and what God has given us, while reaching out to those beyond ourselves to be instruments of peace.
The original church was founded in 1736 and was among the first thirty German Reformed Congregations to be established in Pennsylvania. Near the end of the church's first century of existence, it was joined by a Lutheran Congregation seeking a place to worship. It remained a union church until 1998 when the Lutheran congregation built their own sanctuary to continue its ministry as an individual church.
The two congregations joined to build a church in 1837. This building remained in use until 1917 when the present church was built.
In 1920, the constitution was formulated that governed the life of the two congregations until 1942. In 1942, each congregation began its own work independent of the other.
In 1948 and 1958 the building was expanded. In 2010, the sanctuary was completely renovated and new electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems were installed; bringing the building to its current appearance.
Since 1736, Bern Reformed United Church of Christ has sought to spread God's word through preaching, teaching, and example. Throughout the years we have been active in many local mission endeavors. Activities include the Crop Walk, Berks Soup Kitchen, SafeBerks, and the Rainbow Home. The congregation also participates in God's work in many other ways.
Who We Are
The United Church of Christ came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these in turn was the result of a union of two earlier denominations.
The Congregational Churches trace their roots to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony (1629). The Reformed church in the United States traces its roots to the congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on.
The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1700's with connections to the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches. The Evangelical Synod of North America began as an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri, founded in 1841.
Through the years, other groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Armenians, Hungarians, and Hispanic Americans joined to make the history of the United Church of Christ.
What We Believe
Christian - By our very name we declare ourselves to be a part of the body of Christ - the Christian Church. We continue to the witness of the early disciples to the reality and power of the crucified and risen Christ, Jesus of Nazareth.
Reformed - We confess the authority of one God. We affirm the primacy of the scripture, and the priesthood of all believers, and the principle of Christian freedom. We celebrate two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion).
Congregational - The basic unit of the church is the local congregational. the local congregation exists in covenantal relationships with others to form larger structures to carry on Christ's work.
Evangelical - The primary task of the church is the proclamation of the good news of God's love revealed with power in Jesus Christ. We gather each Sunday for the worship of God and each week we engage in the service of humankind.
Bern UCC In The News
On May 15, 2019, a history of Bern Church was featured in the Reading Eagle. It also promoted our 100th Anniversary celebration of the church building on June 30, 2019.
On June 16, 2018, our annual Strawberry Festival was featured in the Reading Eagle.
On August 28, 2017, our annual Peach Festival was featured in the BerksMont News.
On July 29, 2015, the Plum Creek Farm produce stand located in Bern Church Picnic Grove during the summer months, was featured in the Reading Eagle Berks Country section.
On January 14, 2014, Claude Ohlinger celebrated 50 years as a Leesport barber. Berksmont News
In September 2011, we celebrated our 275th Anniversary. The Reading Eagle promoted the event.
Articles From The Reading Eagle Archives
- October 31, 2014: New Food Pantry At Bern UCC
- July 6, 2007: Jim Beidler's Genealogy Writing Wins Award.
- October 30, 1998: Bern Church Celebrates Final Union Service.
- December 21, 1985: Bern Church Publishes History.
- June 7, 1975: Earl Reeser's 3 Paintings of Bern Church.
- August 4, 1930: Rev M L Herbein's 25th Anniversary.