Welcome, 

Welcome back, 

and Welcome Home to

Ballard Vale United church

Worship is on Sunday mornings at 10:30am in-person in our sanctuary and streamed live on our Facebook page

Please see our COVID-19 page for more details about current mitigation practices.

We are a Reconciling, Open & Affirming Congregation
(that means really welcoming and LGBTQIA+ affirming)
of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

Every donation enables us to support our church's bold voice
for LGBTQ-affirming, justice-seeking Christianity, 
and many local, national and international community efforts and charities as well. 
Please prayerfully consider a donation to aid in our endeavors.


Last Week's Worship Service

The main part of the service begins after announcement slides scroll for several minutes


Advent & Christmas 2022 Theme: 
From Generation to Generation

Our theme comes from Mary’s song of protest and praise commonly known as the “Magnificat” from its first word in its Latin translation (Luke 1:46-55). This year, one line in particular gives pause:

“From this day forward, all generations will call me blessed.
For you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name. Your mercy reaches those who trust in you 
from generation to generation.” –Luke 1: 48b-50 

Despite the challenges and vulnerability she faced, Mary could glimpse the scale and scope of the good news she was part of bringing forth. This good news transcends time and space—it was and is bigger than just her. Christ comes for collective liberation: God’s redemption is for all time. Therefore, the promise is meant to be lived out and passed on from generation to generation. Our theme reminds us of the ways our lives, histories, actions, and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding—in and through us. How will we carry it forth? 

To receive a daily devotional and activity booklet for the season, sign up for our newsletters at the link at the top of the page.

Worship materials are taken and adapted from A Sanctified Art, LLC | sanctifiedart.org | Used with permission

Worship Times and Themes:
11/27, 10:30am Advent Week 1: There’s Room for Every Story
12/4,10:30am Advent Week 2: God Meets Us in Our Fear
12/11, 10:30am Advent Week 3: We Can Choose a Better Way
12/18,  10:30am Advent Week 4: We See God in Each Other
12/24, 5:00pm Christmas Eve: We Tell This Story
12/25,  10:30am Christmas Day: God Dwells With Us
1/1, 10:00am New Year’s Day: Worship at West Parish Church
1/8, 10:30am Epiphany:
We Keep Seeking

Community Pantry & Fridge

We are excited to host a 24-hour self-serve pantry and fridge! The community is invited to leave what they can and take what they need. We're currently accepting the following items (please no expired items):

  • High need: low-sodium canned protein (tuna, chicken, beans, etc), eggs, milk, cheese sticks, yogurt, and lunchables.
  • Also needed: canned goods, dry beans, shelf stable milks, pastas, rice, sauces, cereal, fresh vegetables, juice, juice boxes, diapers and wipes.

Financial donations can be made to support the pantry on our donations page or by mail to the church. 

Funds to build the pantry were generously donated by the Trauma Intervention Program of Merrimack Valley. Construction by Andover Handyman and Sunnybank, LLC.

See this article from the Andover Townsman describing the launch of our pantry. 


Our Relationship with the United Methodist Church

On June 26, 2022, our congregation voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. 

We entered into this process in response to legislation enacted in February 2019 which upheld discriminatory language banning LGBTIA+ persons from serving in the United Methodist Church, and prohibiting pastors from officiating at same sex weddings. This legislation was the culmination of 50 years of discriminatory practices which began with the adoption of the phrase, "we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching." 

See this article from the Andover Townsman that details our meeting and vote. 

One of the biggest hurdles for our small church to overcome is raising approximately $85,000 to pay our conference. Please visit our donations page or mail a check to support our UMC Disaffiliation Fund. We are asking our wider community and all people and organizations who advocate for LGBTQIA+ justice and equality to help us in this effort.


Psalm 23 Project

In Spring 2021, members and friends of our church community recorded videos reading Psalm 23. Here we bring back this video for sharing again!


Our Welcome Statement

We, as members of the Christian community known as the Ballard Vale United Church, believe that all persons are recipients of God's love and grace. 

We try to follow Jesus's example of seeking to bring all to accept this love, forgiveness, and grace, and so direct our lives. We affirm the need to proceed compassionately and justly with each other. 

Therefore, we welcome and affirm all persons who wish to participate in the fellowship and spiritual growth of this reconciling congregation and open and affirming church without regard to age, disability, economic status, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, or social standing. By this statement we anticipate becoming an even stronger and more loving Christian community. 
Adopted April 17, 1994, revised April 25, 2004


Calendar 

Please see below for church & church-related events or click this link to open in your browser.