We value our involvement as individuals and as a congregation in issues of importance to society at large. We use our large building to house many groups including Restorative Justice Community Action, theater groups, five other congregations, and local activists. We structure ourselves in Ministry Teams. These teams are passion-driven. If you are passionate about it, we empower you to do it. As long as it fits within our mission and vision, use our name, invite people to it and thrive. Some Ministry Teams are more formal than others. Some are episodic. The point is that we want people to do ministry that feeds their passion. This is where the Spirit is most active and obvious. Our Ministry Teams include the knitting group, the Worship Planning Team, various study groups, the garden team, the Loaves and Fishes meal program and so on. You do not have to be a member of the church to be on a ministry team. The only time you would ever have to ask permission for anything from the church is if you wanted to use the building or you needed financial resources. We want people to be involved in ministry. Go for it.
University Baptist Church has a long history of working for social justice, starting with its involvement in the Abolition Movement in the 1850s and 60s. Members and friends of UBC volunteer their time, talents, and resources in a number of vital ministries, working against poverty and homelessness and advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. Our affiliations and outreach include:
American Baptist Churches, USA, American Baptist Churches are healthy missional churches that nurture devoted disciples of Jesus Christ who live their lives in mission and ministry for the healing of the world through the love of God.
American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region of New York State
Interfaith Campus Coalition (ICC), University of Minnesota. University Baptist Church is part of a coalition of campus ministries at the University of Minnesota that includes Lutheran Campus Ministry (ELCA), First Congregational Church of Minnesota United Church of Christ, University Episcopal
Community, Hillel Jewish Student Center, the Presbyterian Campus Connection, the Muslim Student Association, and St. Lawrence Catholic Church/the Newman Center. UBC is a part of ICC because of its commitment to interfaith dialog, its respect for diversity and religious pluralism, and its efforts to develop a code of ethics for campus ministries that allows religious communities to have a meaningful presence at the University while respecting the boundaries between church and state.
Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. As a member congregation, we welcome the full membership and participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in our life and ministry.
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, an ecumenical Baptist organization committed to peacemaking and justice-seeking in the US and throughout the world. We are one of about 50 partner congregations with the BPFNA. Many of us attend their annual Summer Conferences as well as the international friendship tours to foster peace and nonviolence.
Alliance of Baptists, an organization which provides a clear voice for Christian freedom, distinctively Baptist and intentionally ecumenical in an interfaith world.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith organization committed to active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change.
Soulforce. Members participate in the local and national soulforce organizations committed to working for justice on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons using nonviolent tactics.
Restorative Justice Community Action. Restorative justice works to reduce repeat offenders, reduce crime overall and strengthen and build community.
Organizations we support also include:
American Baptist Churches Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering
American Baptist Churches United Mission
American Baptist Churches World Missions
American Baptist Churches One Great Hour of Sharing (Disaster Relief)
American Baptist Churches America for Christ Offering
AMOS (A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope) in Nicaragua
Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches Division of Indian Work
Joint Religious Legislative Coalition
Loaves and Fishes, Too (Meal Program)
Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services
Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
PFLAG (parents, friends, family and allies of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual persons)
Second Baptist Church of León,Nicaragua
Second Baptist Church School of León, Nicaragua, Godparent Program
Southeast Miinneapolis Meals on Wheels
Southeast Seniors (A Living at Home Block Nurse Program)
UBC Fellowship Fund (Emergency Assistance)
WAMM (Women Against Military Madness)
We share our building with many organizations and movements including:
The Episcopal Parish of the Holy Trinity and St. Anskar
True Believers Fellowship
Divine Revelation Church
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
UBC has a long history of inclusion of all people. We have been actively welcoming and affirming of the LGBTQ community since the early 1980's. We welcome the opportunity to walk and work alongside everyone and anyone who seeks to live out the Gospel of peace, justice and love. We have been celebrating same-sex weddings in our church building for decades and worked hard to make marriage equality a reality in Minnesota.
As a piece of history, check out our statement on marriage passed in 2004. We are a founding member church of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. In 1991, we were the first American Baptist Church to call an openly lesbian pastor, Nadean Bishop. She served with distinction until her retirement in 2000. In 2005, our Pastor received the Breaking the Silence Award from the University of MN for his work on behalf of the LGBT community.
University Area Sanctuary Coalition
University Area Sanctuary Coalition
We are members of the faith community that surrounds the University of Minnesota and we believe that diversity enhances our lives. We say “NO!” to bigotry and hate in all its forms. When people are threatened because of who they are, the color of their skin, their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or nationality, it is our faithful obligation to stand with them and offer them sanctuary. We say “YES!” to sanctuary.
All faith traditions believe in justice but often faith communities can be a silent reflection of the dominant culture. We encourage people of faith to be reflections of a culture of diversity and inclusion. We also encourage vigorous debate about public policy but we oppose unjust laws and will work towards their reform or elimination. Sanctuary is rooted in scripture. Leviticus 19:34 says, “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” In the gospels, Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger in our midst (Matthew 25). There are similar passages in other sacred texts.
We will welcome the stranger.
We will honor all people as children of God.
We will offer our buildings as safe spaces.
We will resist efforts to deport people.
We will educate ourselves to be advocates for justice.
We will support each other.
We will join with others who share our values.
We will spread this message because it is the core of our faith.
We will act on the moral imperatives of justice, mercy, compassion and love.
We invite you to join us.
"Baptists and Muslims: Learning Together"
Read the op-ed by Pastor Doug Donley published in Baptist News Global, July 2, 2017
Sister Church in Leon, Nicaragua
We established a sister church relationship with Second Baptist Church of Leon Nicaragua in 1992. They have a primary school in their church building of 132 children. Each year we raise money for scholarships for students attending this school. We have more recently augmented this relationship by the advent of e-mail correspondence and visits by delegations. We visited Nicaragua in 2003, 2010 and 2014. We sponsored 5 members of our Sister Church to visit Minnesota in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017. We try to make a visit every year and a half, but the unrest in Nicaragua and pandemic have hindered our visits since 2018. We hope to have our next visit in January of 2022. These visits are a powerful exchange that deepen our relationships and opens our eyes to different cultures. Deidre Druk coordinates this ministry team.
If you would like to go on a UBC-sponsored mission trip, you may be eligible for a travel scholarship. You can request a scholarship application from Deidre Druk, or at the church office.
Check out our Sister Church's Facebook page.