A Call to Join the Race

Wendy Vander Hart


There is a race to be run right now and it is not the short distance of a 5K.

Jesus was a Refugee and an Immigrant

Lindsay Popper


It is Advent, the days when we remember that Jesus is coming to us, the days when we imagine Mary and Joseph making a long and difficult trek—first, to get to a place where they can find shelter and give birth, and then, to escape the murderous rage of a king.   The Jesus we follow was a refugee and an immigrant.   After he was born, fearing that King Herod would murder Jesus as they returned to their homeland in Judea, Mary and Joseph fled with their child to Egypt. The story, in Matthew 2, is ...

Does Our Pastor Need a Job Description?

The Parish Paper


Serving a church without a written job description is like embarking on a long trip without a road map.

Get Ready: Eastern Regional Youth Event 2018

Debbie Gline Allen


This summer, over 350 United Church of Christ youth from Maine to Maryland will be heading to the California University of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh to take part in the Eastern Regional Youth Event. This four-day gathering, from July 19--22, is designed for current 6th through 12th graders. The cost is $350 per person which includes dormitory housing in double rooms for three nights, 8 meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday breakfast, and all programs and service opportunities. The ...

#StandUpCharlie: Risking arrest for climate justice

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas


A crowd inside the Boston State House listens to speakers Under threatening skies, a group of men and women gathers in the basement of the Paulist Center, less than a block from the Boston State House. One by one we introduce ourselves and offer a one-word summary of how we feel as we prepare to risk arrest. “Ready.” “Resolved.” “Grounded.” “Centered.”   Everyone has been trained in non-violent civil disobedience. Everyone has taken the necessary practical steps, such as removing wedding ...

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 ...

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