The United Congregational Church of Holyoke (UCC-ONA) is a merger (1994) of two former UCC congregations, Grace United and Second Congregational. Both had lived within a narrative of decline since the mid-20th Century. Among the multiple causes for that decline are an abusive (and charismatic) pastorate in the mid-70â€™s â€“ and poor stewardship of promises made in the 1994 merger negotiations. Some hurt and denial remains â€“ continuing in the background in some patterns of communication. Todayâ€™s small congregation occupies its massive, city-center gothic revival structure, complete with two worship spaces with their exceptional pipe organs, kitchens, parlors, classrooms, offices, and an assembly hall. Ample endowments provide funding.We (Bobbie and Chuck Morkin) were called as a pastoral team in 2007 with a vision of extending a radical welcome to the wider community. New since 2007: outdoor electronic signboard and colorful banners, a new website, more partnerships with local citizen groups, concerts, and hosting of Interfaith and Ecumenical civic events. Our greatest challenge came when a former moderator proposed â€œone man and one womanâ€ language to our church constitution. In the wake, we voted overwhelmingly to become Open and Affirming.UCCH is a renewing congregation â€“ over half of the attendees at worship are new to the church since 2007 â€“ a more diverse group â€“ including 5 retired clergy, a seminary graduate, several persons requiring public assistance, some who drive from other towns â€“ all of whom are making a huge contribution to the life of the church.Our AWAKENINGS study conferences bring leading-edge thinkers, musicians, poets, church leaders â€“ and guests (now from a dozen states and two Canadian provinces) to the church for a biennial 3Â½ day â€œfeast for the head, heart, and spirit.â€Our challenges include equipping leadership, hosting new ways of being the church, reaching out to the diverse people around us.