Small is Big Again: Reclaiming Small Church Ministry

The Parish Paper

4/1/2017

Although megachurches garner a great deal of attention, these supersized congregations comprise only a small fraction of all worshiping communities in the U.S. The current estimate is that only about 1,650 megachurches (worship attendance exceeds 2,000) dot the landscape out of a total 330,000 congregations across America. In fact, most churches are small: two out of three Protestant churches attract less than 100 worshipers in a typical week


Guide to Good Governance

The Parish Paper

3/1/2017

After months of meetings, the long-range planning committee of Epiphany Church submitted a report to the congregation’s board. The report highlighted three important conclusions: (1) the average age of regular worship attendees is going up while worship attendance overall continues to decline; (2) action steps must be taken immediately; and (3) major changes are needed in ministry priorities. After careful review, the board laid out five possible courses of action. How did Epiphany Church board ...


Sanctuary: It's More Than a Room

John Allen

2/10/2017

Most of our churches have Sanctuaries already.   They house our worship, our meetings, our choir rehearsals. They are places where some sit alone to find a space for a deep-felt prayer to be heard. Our youths' rushing feet thunder through them in the midst of some game or another. Our children's eyes often widen at the majesty of the space.   Many churches have realized, though, that Sanctuary is more than a room. It's a mission.   It is a mission to be a place of refuge for the vulnerable,...


A Call to Solidarity with Muslims

Wendy Vander Hart

2/7/2017

There is much to consider in these days and as one of our former colleagues quoted a parishioner – “this is not a sprint. And it's not a marathon either. It's a relay. And we'll spell each other.”


How Do Congregations Respond to Interfaith Couples?

The Parish Paper

2/1/2017

While Christian-Jewish may be most people’s first association for “interfaith,” as the population of “nones” grows, the most common pairing is actually a Christian and a nonbeliever—and the clash between belief and unbelief can be more difficult than the clash of belief in different things.


A Call for Active Interfaith Engagement in Response to Executive Orders

Polly Hamlen

1/30/2017

By Polly Hamlen, on behalf of the MACUCC Task Force on Ecumenism & Interfaith Relations. “We honor that the world’s noble faiths share core values of compassion, justice and peacemaking, and we recommit to right relationships among people of all religious traditions, calling each other to the best of our sacred teachings.   "Therefore, we call upon ourselves and Christians everywhere to condemn acts of hate and violence done in the name of any of our sacred religions, and to actively engage ...


Be The Church in a Time Such As This - Message 2

Jim Antal

1/27/2017

Your MACUCC leaders have received scores of requests for "help" as our pastors lead their congregations and step into their pulpits in a time such as this. The following is one in a series of reflections on what it means to "Be the Church" in a time such as this.


Now Is The Time

Lynne McDonald

1/25/2017

My 13-year-old daughter and I joined a group of 50 people who traveled overnight on Friday and arrived in DC at 6 AM on Saturday morning. I had never attended a march or event of this sort before and really did not know what to expect. When I mentioned that I was going, many thought it was a bad idea and said they would not risk going to a place where there was potential for violence. I thought about that for a moment and the risk of bringing my 13-year-old daughter. But, I felt that this was ...


Why I Marched

Dirkje F. Legerstee

1/25/2017

The January 21, 2017 Women’s March called to me as it did to millions galvanized by the desire to embody and to protect a moral ground defined by justice and love. The inherent worth and dignity of all beings was proclaimed by thousands of jubilant pink hats, prophetic posters, and singing voices. Together we formed a sea of peaceable bodies standing in friendship,  and laying claim to the sacred ground under our feet as a  commonweal established with unalienable rights for all. From my place on...


A Call to Preach...and to Hear

Kelly Gallagher

1/18/2017

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool…if the church will free itself from the shackles of a deadening status quo, and, recovering its great historic mission, will speak and act fearlessly and insistently in terms of justice and peace, it will enkindle the imagination of [humankind] and fire the souls of ...


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