North Prospect Union United Church of Christ belongs to the United Church of Christ. The denomination was formed in 1957 by the merger of the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
The church resides in the theological tradition of protestant Trinitarianism. It confesses God who has created all that is, God who has come into human life and taken on its joys and sorrows in the form of Jesus the Christ, and God who continues to intercede in history in the form of the Holy Spirit. North Prospect Union Church also recognizes that human existence is abundant in sorrow and injustice. Our faith, then, is paradoxical and submits to no easy resolution of the God we believe in and the reality of the world we live in. Our struggle to understand is ongoing. In that struggle we find the comfort and assurance of a loving God, which we celebrate. And we find our calling, taken from the long line of prophets, Jesus, and the cloud of witnesses who have followed them, to be instruments of justice, truth and love.
North Prospect Union United Church of Christ stands in the New England Congregational tradition. Through its parent churches, Prospect Congregational Church and North Congregational Church in Cambridge, and North Street Union Church in Medford, it traces its lineage back to the nineteenth century, and from there to the seventeenth century Puritans. Today North Prospect Union, as a member of the United Church of Christ, sees itself as a Christian church, rooted in the community, bound together by covenant, encouraging the spiritual growth of its congregants and care for all in God’s creation.
On September 20, 1827, thirty-nine women and six men, having responded to the evangelical preaching of Lyman Beecher, formed the “First Evangelical Congregational Church in Cambridgeport,” later Prospect Congregational Church. Its first house of worship was on Norfolk Street, and in 1852, after great growth under its second minister, William Stearns, it built the church on Prospect Street, which stands next to Bread and Circus.
Meanwhile, by the middle of the century North Cambridge, between Harvard Square and Arlington, had grown enough to need a church. On July 15, 1857 twenty-seven women and sixteen men met on Bowdoin Street to organize a Congregational Church. Its first permanent building was the Holmes Chapel, built on Arlington Street. In 1866 the church bought the building that belonged to Old Cambridge Baptist Church. It was moved from its site near Harvard Square to its current location at 1803 Mass. Ave Cambridge, by oxen, taking twenty-one days, but without disrupting the horse car schedule! The building was sold to Leslie University in January 2006.
North Street Union Church
In the 1920s, North Street church was built in Medford. It is the current building for North Prospect Union UCC formed through consolidation with North Prospect UCC in 2006.
On June 1, 1985, after three years of a shared ministry, Prospect and North churches officially joined together to become North-Prospect UCC.
North Prospect Union
On January 1, 2006, North-Prospect and North Street Union Churches joined together to for North Prospect Union United Church of Christ.
Polity and Governance
North Prospect Union Church inherits its governance by Congregational Polity from its roots in Congregationalism. Congregational Polity gives the largest measure of authority to the whole active membership of the church. Consequently, all major decisions are made by vote of the present active members at an officially called meeting of the congregation. The congregation, however, delegates the day to day operations of the church to the various officers and committees of the church. Committee chairs and officers together form the Executive Council, which oversees all the work of the church and makes recommendations to the congregation for action at congregational meetings. Following are a list of some of the officers and committee chairs and other people with church responsibilities, who may be reached through the church office:
Office Administrator and Secretary
Chair Finance Committee
Chair Board of Trustees
Chair Christian Education