Sanctuary UCC journey shows power in collective

Wendy Vander Hart

5/23/2016

The brave, faithful members and leaders of Sanctuary United Church of Christ revealed what it means to be church this weekend in an article beautifully written for the Boston Globe by Lisa Wangsness (with photographs by Dina Rudick).  It is all there – the tenderness, the angst, the compassion, the passive aggressive behavior, the asking good questions, the looking for quick fixes, the trial, the error, the mistakes, the forgiveness, the death, the hope.  You know what I am talking about right? ...


Faith Leaders Communicating on Climate - New Video from Jim Antal

Jim Antal

5/13/2016

Dear UCC Colleagues and Friends,   On this series of wonderful spring days, I’m reminded of the beauty and inestimable worth of God’s great gift of creation.   As an expression of our covenant with God, with future generations and with all of creation, here are just a few suggestions for action and resources:   WATCH THIS: Here’s a link to an article on How Faith Leaders Can Tell the Story of Climate Change as an Opportunity for the Church.  The article features a 4 ½ minute video which Tiffany...


Making Congregations Greener

The Parish Paper

5/10/2016

The celebration of Earth Day began in 1970 and has now spread to 192 countries. The early organizers could not imagine that almost fifty years later environmental issues would remain challenging, emotional, and controversial. However, for faith communities, the concept of caring for all creation fits with the Gospel message of assuming responsibility for what God has given us. How much have congregations embraced the practices of refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle?   Beginning Steps Making the ...


How Do New People Hear About Your Church?

The Parish Paper

5/1/2016

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 in your community and they usually have a variety of methods for seeking you out.   ...


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  


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 ...


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