All posts by Our Beloved

Photos from our February 12th Installation Service

Sunday, February 12, 2017, Beloved Community Church UCC celebrated the installation of Rev. Jennifer Sanders, the second minister to serve as head pastor of our congregation since our founding in 2000.

rev. jennifer

The service of installation celebrated the covenant between Rev. Jennifer, Beloved Community Church, the United Church of Christ and the wider community.

Continue reading Photos from our February 12th Installation Service

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Beloved Community annual meeting Sunday, February 19th

Join us this Sunday after the 5 pm service to vote on our budget and plan for the year ahead. All are welcome and invited to attend to the business of the church.

If you are not yet a member of Beloved, please make your membership (covenant) official to be eligible to vote! Read our church covenant, which is the basis of membership in our community, and talk to Rev. Jennifer to learn more about this commitment!

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South African Preacher Rev. Alan Storey at Beloved Sunday, December 4th

Alan is an ordained minister of the Methodist Church of South Africa and is presently ministering at the Central Methodist Mission in Cape Town.

Alan believes the following: To take the whole Bible literally is an absurdity; Jesus would much rather be taken seriously than worshiped; the division of the world into “saved” and “un-saved” is hate speech; the holy land is not a place to visit but every place to value; there are around 7.2 billion chosen people in the world; the day will come when all guns will be turned into ploughshares (he chairs Gun Free South Africa); the Church must ask the Queer community for forgiveness for its bigotry and exclusion as a matter of urgency; inequality is a weapon of mass destruction.

Alan’s faithfulness to the peacemaking Christ was tested early in his life when he faced conscription into the apartheid regime military. After spending a year of discernment abroad, he returned to South Africa, declaring he would never fight in the apartheid army – or any army. He was arrested and faced trial with a six-year prison sentence as the likely outcome. Alan’s trial was surprisingly abandoned midway, and he became the last conscientious objector to be tried in apartheid South Africa.

Alan will be leading an Advent retreat this weekend with Mary’s House before joining us to preach on Sunday night.

Be sure to join us Sunday night at 5 pm to hear a brilliant theologian & preacher! (Note: Rev. Jennifer will be present as well!)

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Fifth Sunday potluck October 30th after 6 pm service

Join us after the 6 pm service Sunday night for our 5th Sunday Potluck!
Family and friends welcome – bring what you can and share if you are able.
See you Sunday at Beloved!

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Voices for Racial Justice at Beloved

Church meeting shows diversity in Black Lives Matter movement by Jonece Star Dunigan – published on Saturday, October 19th, 2016

Community activist Zac Henson held nothing back during a community meeting about racial equality at Beloved Community Church on Tuesday night.

As a member Cooperative New School for Urban Studies and Environmental Justice, he joined other social justice organizations that stood in solidarity with Black Lives Matter-Birmingham chapter during the meeting. Leaders talked about how the different organizations could help each other in the fight for racial equality following the fatal officer-involved shooting deaths of black men. It also gave residents who want to be involved a chance to meet the different organizations. Continue reading Voices for Racial Justice at Beloved

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Feature on Beloved’s new pastor at

Article from Greg Garrison on, published October 11, 2016. 

The Rev. Jennifer Sanders, an openly lesbian community minister, was elected Sunday as the new pastor of Beloved Community Church in Avondale.

Beloved is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, one of the more liberal mainline denominations.

“I’m a woman, a lesbian, a member of a progressive faith tradition,” Sanders said.

Beloved Church, founded in 2000, voted 34-0 to elect Sanders. The church has about 120 members on roll.

Continue reading Feature on Beloved’s new pastor at

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Pizza with the pastoral candidate Saturday, October 8th

Join us from 5:30-7:30 for pizza with Beloved pastoral candidate Jennifer Sanders. We will have time to mingle, as well as a question and answer period with Jennifer at 6 pm. We’ll enjoy pizza from our neighbors at Post Office Pies. Please call or email to let us know if you plan to attend or if you have any food allergies so we’ll order enough for everyone!

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Blessing of the Animals October 2nd, 3 pm

Sunday, October 2nd, 3-4 PM: Join Beloved pastoral candidate Jennifer Sanders as she helps administer the Blessing of the Animals with neighbors from The Abbey and Many Roads Spiritual Community at Beloved.

Bring your gentle, leashed pets, or pet accessories, for the blessing and fellowship in our parking lot!

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September preachers at Beloved, Sunday nights at 6

As we search for a new pastor, we will continue to welcome guest preachers each week. Join us to hear the message, music and welcome of Beloved, Sunday nights at 6 pm.

Rev. Kelley Hudlow – Labor Day weekend (September 4th)

Rev. Hudlow is Deacon and Director of Community Relations for our neighboring Episcopal congregation/coffee shop, The Abbey.
Kelley will preach a special Labor Day message.

September 11th – Rev. Sally Harris
Beloved Sally will preach on Grandparents’ Day. Sally is an ordained UCC pastor currently serving as interim for a Lutheran church. All grandparents and grandchildren are especially invited.

September 18th – Rev. Gary Myers

A UCC pastor in Athens, Rev. Myers will help us observe the Baptism of our newest Beloved member, Christopher Wadsworth.

September 25th – Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey
Rev. Dollie Howell Pankey is the pastor of Saint James CME Church in Cordova. An educator at heart, she has worked as a teacher, chaplain, minister of music, and workshop facilitator. She also shares her musical gifts and graces as singer/songwriter.

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August preachers at Beloved: Sunday nights at 6 pm

As we search for a new pastor, we will continue to welcome guest preachers each week. Join us to hear the message, music and welcome of Beloved, Sunday nights at 6 pm.

Sunday, August 7th: Rev. Sonya Gravlee is a new Beloved. Originally a Baptist from Birmingham, Sonya moved to Texas. Soon after finishing seminary she was ordained a UCC pastor. For 9 years, she pastored a small cathedral in a West Texas cornfield, in a town of 238 souls, where she was also the campus minister at Angelo State University. She spent some time in a PhD program in Claremont, CA, where she taught at the University of La Verne and served as campus minister. By 2009, Sonya was homesick for her 3 nephews, and moved back to Birmingham. Currently, she serves as Weekend Chaplain at St. Vincent’s East Hospital.

209cbcbf-3901-4e84-acdd-5dee2a145360Rev. Robyn Arnold – August 14th

Rev. Arnold is pastor at Grace Episcopal Church in Woodlawn. This church hosts community kitchens, a food pantry, and numerous outreach ministries in the Woodlawn community.


Rev. Tommy Morgan – August 21st
Rev. Morgan is a Disciples of Christ minister from Helena. He serves on the Greater Birmingham Ministries board and works with their “Winning Our Wages” campaign.

Hope Hamilton Schumacher – August 28th
Hope was a co-founder of The Birmigham Voice, a newspaper for and by people living in homelessness. She recently graduated from Boston University School of Theology.

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