Danville Congregational Church Chosen Best Place of Worship

Danville church honored by East Bay Times readers for the second year in a row.

(DANVILLE, Calif.) — NEWS: Danville Congregational Church (DCC) ( today announced that it was named “Best Place of Worship” for 2020-2021 by the East Bay Times Reader’s Choice Awards. The church also received that honor from East Bay Times readers for 2019-2020. This latest recognition will appear in a supplement to be published with the Sunday, June 28 edition of the East Bay Times.


DCC is a progressive spiritual community that is open and affirming of the LGBTQ community, celebrates differences, is committed to anti-racism work, and encourages alternate views. Members come from many religious traditions, from Baptist to Catholic, from Unitarian to Orthodox, or with no church background at all.

Jim and Shii Stickler began attending Danville Congregational Church earlier this year, based upon a friend’s recommendation to visit a United Church of Christ (UCC) congregation. “It was important for us to find a church committed to an open and affirming philosophy of acceptance for all, and we have found that at DCC,” said Jim Stickler. “The pastors and people of this community really put this into practice and are truly welcoming.”

At DCC, church programs and affiliations include the youth group, a sister parish affiliation with San Antonio Catholic Church in Guatemala, and partnerships with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Hope Solutions, and Shelter, Inc. In addition, DCC provides support to other religious institutions and non-profits that serve communities across Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

An important community resource located on the Danville Congregational Church campus is Dayspring Preschool. Its “inquiry learning” approach promotes the use of a child’s natural curiosity and hands-on learning materials. Enrichment classes include music and movement, soccer, and dance. The program goal is to help children develop a life-long love of learning, preparing them for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Online presence

DCC was an early adopter of an online church service driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. From a one-way live stream on March 15, DCC quickly transitioned to a video conference service. The result has been an authentic church experience, with screen displays of announcements, the liturgy, scripture, and recorded music. Since Sunday service moved online, church attendance, program participation, and giving at DCC have all increased significantly.

“This recognition from readers of the East Bay Times reflects the impact our Sunday service and church programs are having on members of our church community, especially now with our virtual presence,” said Senior Pastor Rev. Eric Sherlock. “Because we are now online accessible to anyone with a laptop or smartphone, we can engage with people in nursing and retirement homes; family and friends of church members; and others who can’t attend a live church service. This will remain an important component of our ministry and programs long after shelter-in-place restrictions have ended.”

About Danville Congregational Church

Danville Congregational Church traces its roots to a women’s sewing circle, which came together in June of 1954. The group’s efforts led to the formation of San Ramon Valley Congregational Church the following year. In June, 1986, members voted to change the name to Danville Congregational Church. Today, Danville Congregational Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ. Our denomination formed in 1957, when it completed a process of conversation resulting in the union of two denominations: the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

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Pastor bios:
Senior Pastor Rev. Eric Sherlock
Associate Pastor Rev. Todd Atkins-Whitley
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