11 E. Gilman Street

New York Mills, MN 56567

218 385 2587​



The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).


Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.


Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.

We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.


We exist to declare and demonstrate the liberating power of the Gospel 

In 1898 nine women in the Finnish community of New York Mills decided it was time to get away from Finnish only worship by creating space in a local church to have English Sunday School. Eventually, they decided to form a church. Through a grant from the Congregational Church, a no-interest loan from a friend, and chicken dinner fundraisers, they built the church, opening its doors for worship in 1903. Using kitchen chairs and lanters, they became a missional church to the many children, teaching them to read, write, and learn the Gospel in English.

Today, that same can-do attitude is what makes this the Small and Mighty church among our larger neighbors. 

All are welcome at the Table! Big and small, rich and poor, tatoos and ties, GLBTQ+, mentally and physically varied, Atheist and Orthodox: we saved you a spot.



To be the church that displays the Love of Christ and connects with people of all walks of life through our creative worship, discipleship, and outreach.



Help us accomplish our Goals

To impact our community and show the love the Jesus to every person that we encounter. We wish to show the love, compassion, and grace that Jesus showed everyone he encountered. We hope that you will join in accomplishing our goals.


AT First Congregational UCC

TPastor Sheri Nelson began her call to First Congregational UCC in New York Mills as an intern in 2015. Once the intership was complete, the congregation voted to call Sheri as their Designated Licensed Minister, as the former minister prepared to retire.

On February 10, 2019, Rev. Sheri was ordained into the United Church of Christ and installed as Pastor and Teacher of the New York Mills church.

Pastor Sheri received a bachelor's degree in International Relations: Comparative Governments in 2008 and her master's degree in Divinity in 2017.

She has served as a Sunday school teacher and youth director since 2008 and as a Lay Minister from 2014 to 2015. 

Pastor Sheri is married to Derek Peterson, who works at Russ Davis Wholesale in Wadena. She also has two daughters, Jamie and Kristen, along with two small dogs and three large cats.

Because there is no office at the church, Pastor Sheri does most of her office duties at her home office. 

She can be reached by office or cell:

218-640-3722 (cell) text or call

218-445-9340 (office) M,T,Th,F mornings

email: prsherinelson@gmail.com



AUTHENTICITY:  We believe we can’t be what God has called us to be if we are not genuinely ourselves. We must be our true selves so that we make a connection with one another on a higher level.

BIBLICAL TRUTH: We believe the Bible is God’s inherent truth and it’s the foundation of our faith. 

COMMUNICATION: God used the current language and daily life experiences of those around her/him to communicate truth. God continues to communicate to us today, using the same expression of free-will and covenant that was used for our ancestors.

LIFE TOGETHER: We aren’t interested in being a place where a lot of people get together for an inspiring service but never move beyond the casual, arm’s distance relationships of an auditorium.

EXCELLENCE: We don’t believe in striving for unrealistic perfection. Real excellence is about bringing your best to God’s work and to life in general.

GROWTH: This is a safe place for everyone. But safe doesn’t mean comfortable. The answers aren’t always comfortable.

"That they may all be one." 

John 17:21