Stories of Sexual Harassment: Will You Ask? Will You Listen?

John Hudson


Go ahead. Ask them. Ask the women in your life--moms and sisters, wives and friends, daughters and neighbors: as a man, ask them, if, as women, they've ever experienced sexual harassment.

What is Truly Sacred About our Houses of Worship Cannot be Violated

Amy Lignitz Harken


A fifth-grader at church thinks it weird that I lock the door to my office. A few weeks ago, in the course of trying to explain why a pastor might lock his or her office door, I revealed that on two occasions, once here in Massachusetts and once in Missouri, somebody broke into my church office. Rolling his eyes in exasperation, he asked, “Who would do that?” I confessed I didn’t know. He bounced his hands in the air, palms up. “Who steals from church? I mean, first all, it’s breaking a ...

Thanks for the Buckets!

Don Remick


The last few months have been an overwhelming time of natural disasters. Several severe storms struck the gulf and east coast with hurricanes at their highest level.  Fires devastated whole regions in the West.  We’ve continued to watch as the initial recovery and response work began and as it has emerged into the long term, long-haul work that lies ahead. Thank you for your help with this. Throughout the months of September and October, churches and communities across our Commonwealth have ...

Mistakes Churches Make During an Interim Ministry

The Parish Paper


After thirty years of service, the pastor of Community Pine Church retired. For the majority of members, he was the only church pastor they had ever experienced. Lay leaders quickly formed a search committee to get started on finding an interim pastor. Any step that might delay them seemed a waste of precious time. They feared the months between pastors could deplete resources and members’ energy. After some discussion, the committee produced a vague document about the congregation and the kind ...

Court Ruling on Clergy Housing Allowance Raises Questions

Jonathan New


Shock waves have reverberated across the land over the past two weeks as clergy and the religious organizations that employ them got word of a federal court ruling that may mean the end to the clergy housing allowance tax exclusion.  On October 6, Judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin struck down as unconstitutional the provision in the U.S. tax code that allows clergy to exclude from income tax the portion of their compensation designated for housing ...

Listening to the Call of the Great Spirit – a Walk Across the Cape to Mourn, Remember and Begin to Heal

Kelly Gallagher


“Let us walk together to learn and reflect, to deepen our understanding so that we may earnestly begin to discern how to walk into the future. How we can live in a way that will bear good fruit for the earth and the people.”   Listening to the Call of the Great Spirit Nov. 17 - 23 Walk from Provincetown to Plymouth Website MACUCC Volunteer Form The year 2020 will mark the 400th commemoration of the landing of the Mayflower on the shores of what is now Massachusetts. While as a church we will ...

Can Flames Compete with Tweets?

Don Remick


Overwhelm: It seems to be a common word these days. News is full of stories that tap deeply into our compassion and concern.  But they are so full of emotion that it becomes hard to keep going.  One more tweet in the daily barrage from the White House sends news media spinning and our Facebook echo chamber buzzing.  As flames consume homes and lives, one more news report of the devastation of a disaster, and our senses are on overload…again.    That tendency to just turn it all off and deal with...

Bringing Spiritual Care to Storm Victims in Florida

Fred Meade


Disaster Resource Team member Fred Meade has been called by the Red Cross once again, this time to provide spiritual care to Hurricane Irma victims in Florida. His daily reflections follow. Check back for regular updates. Debriefing I’ve been back now for about 5 days. Thank you to all the folks at Super Saturday who made such loving and supportive comments about my work and my writing about being a chaplain after a natural disaster.   In the last few days, I have found it difficult to ...

Does Our Pastor Need a Job Description?

The Parish Paper


December 2017—Volume 25, Number 12              Copyright @ 2017 by Cynthia Woolever “I love our pastor and his family, but I don’t know if I can sit through another one of his sermons!” Other members made similar remarks that eventually reached the ears of Paul, chair of the personnel committee, who was asked to call a meeting to deal with members’ growing frustration. Paul felt nervous about setting up an unexpected meeting with the pastor because the personnel committee typically meets only ...

It’s Time to Shed the Judgment Leveled at People Sick with the Disease of Addiction

Robert Everett


Recovery Sunday worship is designed to help the church begin to talk about the problems of addiction and to help make the church a safe and welcoming place for anyone affected by these many problems.

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