I was at Charlottesville. Something tells me this will be a phrase that will be a part of the rest of my life. The clergy call to Charlottesville came from a new organization – “Congregate” - that formed quickly in the face of the growing presence of the alt-right and white nationalists descending on Charlottesville over the last few months. Saturday’s rally would have been the fourth, and largest, rally this year in Charlottesville of those who follow their god and gospel of hate, violence and...
The hoods the Klu Klux Klan wore were about fear: not for those who wore them, but to instill it in those who were confronted by them. In hiding their faces, the Klan could be everyone and anyone. The hood served not to hide the identity of the person who wore it, but to make whoever saw it question who it was who lurked underneath it. The hood sowed fear and doubt and suspicion. And now, in the absence of hoods, our unwillingness to stand up and loudly proclaim our opposition to white ...
Due to the high interest in this topic this online course is being offered again from August 21- September 14. If you’re involved with Sunday school, either as a superintendent, CE director, teacher, or another capacity, then you’ve no doubt heard the lament that things have changed. Crowded classrooms and regular attendance are no longer the norm. Instead you’re struggling with things like whether to go to a one room Sunday school or how to reach biblically illiterate kids who only attend your ...
Greetings! I hope that each of you is having an enjoyable summer thus far -- a time of restoration and rejuvenation. I am writing to share two important updates regarding Racial Justice Ministries within the Massachusetts Conference that will take place in September 2017. Racial Justice Podcast We are launching a quarterly podcast beginning on September 7! Each conversation will be with a leader in the field of racial justice, and conversations will always have an intersection of spirituality ...
Do we see a snake or a rope? In this metaphor, the snake is fear, disappointment, discouragement, despair, anxiety, distrust, bitterness, or dejection. What is the rope? It is hope. All churches have hope, but they may occasionally experience snake-vision: the illusion of no hope, only despair about the future.
On Tuesday, July 18, I was arrested in Washington, DC and charged with section 22-1307 of the DC criminal code: “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.”
by Estelle Margarones September is Disaster Preparedness Month and your MACUCC Disaster Resource & Response Team encourages you to dedicate a Sunday in September to disaster preparedness. In order to help you plan a special service, we are making liturgical resources available to you to use as you wish. The order of worship includes a call to worship, prayers, selected scripture passages, hymn suggestions, a children's message, a call to giving, and information for bulletins. Access the liturgy...
“Please do not laminate our new vision statement and put it on the wall,” a member quipped as we completed our work on defining who we are. She had seen too many statements and strategic plans come and go, while working as a non-profit leader. They hang powerless on the wall like a “No Smoking” or “Exit” sign. Too often churches invest a year or more in clarifying purpose and developing a strategy for growth and change, only to see the wheels fall off during implementation. In stunning research...
A recent ruling in Massachusetts may spark interest in the subject of property taxes and church real estate.
W.P.W. is my sermon title for my first Sunday back in the pulpit following General Synod 2017, the biennial meeting of the entire United Church of Christ (UCC). Can you guess what it means? Take a minute. Give up?