It's true - even the UCC is flawed by the issues and personalities that plague other churches. Here in conservative Western NY, most UCCs are middle-of-the-road on most issues, a few are VERY conservative, and a few are in the forefront of advocating for LGBT persons.
Ironically, in the church I am serving, race is a larger issue than sexual orientation. I think of sexual orientation as the 'last frontier' re: prejudice, so that's been a big surprise. When the church that hired me did so knowing I am gay, I figured I was all set. The fact that I had just started dating an African American man (a personal matter I did not share with the search committee) seemed irrelevant to me at the time. Now a year later we are fully committed to one another, and I am much more aware of the deep-rooted racism in the congregation and community I serve. I've watched the two African Americans who've wandered into the church in the last year get the full 'ejector-seat' treatment. Meanwhile I have been gradually introducing my partner to the church and in a short while he will be fully known as my partner. What I'm finding is that many of the people are in denial about my orientation (or wasn't listening when I was introduced), so 'meeting the bf' is a double shock. The inner-city neighborhood I serve is an island of white hold-outs surrounded by a large, poor, drug-infested African American community (our neighborhood is also poor with drug problems, but it remains vigilantly 98% white.) My partner is a sweet, gentle, smart, committed Christian with a gift for music and working with kids. He is also a school teacher and more educated and affluent that 95% of the congregation (which I'm starting to realize could be resented.) I'm not willing to hide my relationship with him (in fact, I turned down a larger suburban church because they waffled re: my orientation). My concern is that the church's response to him - and my need to have employment and thus the temptation to appease the congregation to a certain extent - will put a strain on our relationship. If they reject him and I need to leave, I imagine that will make finding another position more difficult. I was the first openly gay man hired in the UCC in this part of the state - folks are watching to see if it works out or not. Any prayers about this would be appreciated!