A Week Off From Worship Preparation!

Estelle Margarones


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...

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: Why Coaching is a Transformative Edge for Your Church

Todd Weir


“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...

The Changing 21st Century Sunday School

Debbie Kolacki


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 program every few weeks.

Get Ready for Sunday School

Debbie Kolacki


If you need some assistance and/or inspiration to jump-start your Christian Education programs for the new year, consider attending a free webinar offered by PRC – Practical Resources for Churches on August 10, 2017 at 7 PM Eastern time. The title of the webinar is “Getting Ready – for CE Directors” and it’s led by Christian educator Elizabeth Christie who will be discussing an effective schedule for communications, programming, staffing, facility maintenance, and administrative duties. Don’t ...

How Can We Help Immigrants?

The Parish Paper


A new church member—a recent African immigrant—described what his Christian mother taught him: “When someone comes to you and needs food and shelter, you give it to them. The next day you can ask them: What is your story?” The immigrant story touches every community and congregations have always welcomed newcomers. Typically, one in ten people attending a worship service in the US are immigrants—they were born outside the US. Further, one in five worshipers are children of immigrants because one...

Property Taxes, the First Amendment, and Your Church

Jonathan New


A recent ruling in Massachusetts may spark interest in the subject of property taxes and church real estate.

#UCCGS: W.P.W. Three Great Loves & A Just World for All

John White


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?

South Church's Decision to Offer Sanctuary

Tom Gerstenlauer


Leaders at South Congregational UCC in Springfield have been involved in studying the issue of sanctuary for undocumented immigrants for many months now, attending events sponsored by our partner agency in Springfield the Pioneer Valley Project, as well as the Pioneer Valley Worker Center in Northampton and Western New England University Law Center.  We have invited representatives from PICO and MCAN to address small groups and our congregation at worship.  We have learned that many of those ...

United Church of Christ Declares a New Moral Era

Jim Antal


It was a big claim: “Imperatives for a New Moral Era.”    It was a big ask: to “resist all expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and demand new sources of renewable energy that are accessible to all communities” and to write a new story for America – “a story that is not dependent on fossil fuel or on wealth for the few and misery for the many.”   It demands that the church itself “bear witness.”  Unlike so many resolutions passed at Church gatherings, instead of criticizing the injustice of ...

#UCCGS: Synod as Discipleship

Amelia Nugent


Over the course of the past week I have fallen in love with the United Church of Christ all over again. Watching the church, in all our multiple, beautiful, sometimes contentious contexts, worship, sing, pray and work together to discern our outward priorities for the next two years reminded me why this church is my home. Our commitment to be united in Christ binds us to one another, even when we don’t agree. I do not like all of the decisions we came to this week, and I know I am not the only ...

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