How Do New People Hear About Your Church?

The Parish Paper

5/1/2016

May 2016—Volume 24, Number 5                          Copyright @ 2016 by Cynthia Woolever When asked, “How did you first find out about this congregation?” visitors give surprisingly diverse answers. Because not all visitors are seeking the same thing, their path to your church door reflects their specific needs and interests. Thus, congregations need multiple strategies to publicize and promote their presence in the community.   Types of New There are three major types of potential members ...


Recommended reading: The Pollinator

Jim Antal

4/20/2016

Leading the national setting of the UCC as our Minister of Environmental Justice is the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt.  From time to time he assembles excellent material on climate and environmental activism and witness.  It’s called THE POLLINATOR.  If you’re not already a subscriber, I would encourage you to do so – and also I would encourage you to invite your congregation to do so as well. Sign up to receive the Pollinator newsletter. Earth Day blessings and hope,   Jim  


The Time is Right to Act on Restorative Justice in Mass.

Mark Seifried

4/15/2016

from the MACUCC Restorative Justice Task Team: We need your help right now!  For many years we have supported the reforms that would introduce restorative justice to the criminal justice system in Massachusetts.  Given the raging opioid crisis, and the fact that youth sentenced to jail face a lifetime of prison and homelessness, we need to act now on the Restorative Justice Act in Massachusetts, a criminal justice reform that would empower judges to utilize healing circles of restorative ...


Pray the Bird

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

4/13/2016

Photo by Robert Jonas Sometimes I am perfectly capable of scanning large swathes of bad news with aplomb, keeping my feelings at bay.  I know how to brace myself before I open the morning paper, turn on the TV, or scan the news online.  OK, world, I’m ready!  Bring it on!  Give me the latest list of apocalyptic woes!  I can take it! I can handle it without blinking an eye! But then comes a story about one small bird. Researchers have confirmed the first death from malaria of a loon in New ...


I urge you to join the UCC Keep It In The Ground movement

Jim Antal

4/4/2016

For many months I have been working with the national setting of the UCC to prepare for the UCC April mission emphasis “Keep it in the ground.”  The hope is that this month you will focus a worship service on this theme by preaching and/or using some of the superb worship resources available on the Keep It In The Ground website.    When asked to sum up why this important, here’s what I said, “It falls to us – to our generation – to launch the greatest social change movement the world has ever ...


How to Deal with Church Conflict

The Parish Paper

4/1/2016

April 2016—Volume 24, Number 4    Copyright @ 2016 by Cynthia Woolever                     The governing board met to make their final decision about hiring a new pastor. Having narrowed the field to two candidates after a long discussion, a board member moved for a vote. As expected, another board member objected to the motion. During the discussion, this member made clear that she strongly opposed hiring one of the candidates. Equally clear from the discussion was that the remaining board ...


Goodbye to Chile

Elena Huegel

3/29/2016

Note: Elena Huegal has been serving as a Global Ministries Missionary in Chile for many years, working with the Conference's mission partner, the Pentecostal Church of Chile. Elena is now ending her time in Chile. She will be touring the UCC before her next assignment, and will be available to visit Massachusetts Conference churches from Sept. 15 to 30. To request a visit to your church, contact Karen Methot. by Elena Huegel A Pueblo prayer: Hold onto what is good, Even if it is a handful of ...


Holy Week message from Jim Antal

Jim Antal

3/22/2016

May the peace of Christ be with you throughout this challenging week.  For those of you leading a local congregation, I pray that you might experience the events of Holy Week in a new, heart-opening way, and that God’s grace may be upon you in sharing your insight with your local church.   In addition to lifting you all in prayer, I join you in lifting the dozens of people in Brussels who were wounded or killed in yesterday’s attacks.  Like many of you, I was immediately transported back to the ...


Protesting Pipelines and Palm Sunday

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

3/22/2016

On Day #3 of a four-day, 46-mile walk to stop the construction of the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline, scores of activists gathered in the sanctuary of St. James Episcopal Church in Greenfield, Massachusetts, for a spirited rally organized by Sugar Shack Alliance. St. James Church is a grand old beauty of a building, a neo-Gothic stone structure that was consecrated in 1849. The sanctuary buzzed with excitement as a diverse crowd took their seats, many of them walkers eager for encouragement after a...


Thanks, Wow, Help - 3 Basic Prayers

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

3/14/2016

A presentation to clergy and lay leaders in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts that was given on Parish Leadership Day, March 5, 2016. A handout of suggested action steps is available for download here.   Friends, I’d like to take a page from writer Anne Lamott, who wrote a book a few years ago called Help, Thanks, Wow. She calls these our three most basic prayers, and they make a good framework for these remarks about caring for God’s creation, though I’m going to shuffle the deck a...


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