East Side Congregational United Church of Christ is a member of the Susquehanna Association of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ. As a denomination, the United Church of Christ is historically comprised of the Congregational Churches, the Christian Churches, the German Reformed Churches, and the Evangelical Synod. While we are proudly part of this church union; we also recognize a key component of our denomination; that is, congregational autonomy. What this means is that while East Side Congregational UCC accepts the theological beliefs and traditions of the United Church of Christ, we remain under our own governance when it comes to the decisions of the local church. In practice, this means we choose our own pastor, make financial decisions for the betterment of the congregation without denominational pressure, and choose for ourselves how we live out the missionary, worship, and discipleship aspects of our faith. And yet, with all that said, we strongly believe in the importance of covenant–an intentional, formal, solemn, and binding, God-centered agreement–among churches and Associations, and within the denomination as a whole. Therefore, we hold in high importance, the history, polity, guidelines, and decisions made at the Association, Conference and national setting; and fully participate in the decision making at each level through church delegate participation.
Within Eastside Congregational UCC, we are governed by a Church Council that is made up of all church members. It is the council’s task to make all decisions for our congregation. We also have a Stewardship Committee who advises the Church Council with regard to the immediate and long-term financial matters, and a Benevolence Committee who advises the council with regard to spending on missions and outreach.