As we approach the anniversary of the events in Charlottesville caused by white supremacy and hatred, let us take a moment to reflect on where we stand today as people of faith.
"If that’s not God showing up, I’m not sure what is!" — Emily McKenna
Three hundred twenty-eight participants gathered at California University of Pennsylvania for the Eastern Regional Youth Event on July 19-22. Youth from our Hampshire Association, Edwards Church in Framingham, and Memorial Congregational Church in Sudbury joined their UCC peers from 10 other eastern UCC conferences.
A congregation’s community project often starts with someone’s idea or dream, followed by a plan designed by a core team, and then, a group of volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Yet how can this worthy work be sustained over time? Whether the project involves food, clothing, or housing assistance or counseling and job training or organizing residents around an issue of local importance like the need for a community garden or more stop signs, at some point the program ...
"We need to stop believing that teaching the Bible in an educational setting will bring today’s children and youth to a life of faith." —Debbie Gline Allen
We read about families at the border being split up. We weep. We cry. We wonder what we can do (see one idea here). The work at the border is indeed important and deserves our attention and our cries, but it cannot divert our ongoing attention from our work right here in Massachusetts. Churches here are currently hosting people who are on the verge of being deported. First Congregational Church, UCC in Amherst opened its doors to Lucio Perez nine months ago now. Lucio is the father of four ...
Einstein is quoted as saying: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” It is one of my favorite quotes. (And though there is no record of Einstein actually saying this, his writings often refer to the concept.) In this era of extraordinary change we are constantly confronted with a reality: the future church will, in many ways, look and act profoundly differently from the church in which we were raised. It is one of the reasons that the vision of our...
"This community-building thing we do works for grown-ups, too!" — Rev. Mary Nelson
"Now is the time to get at it." — Rev. Kelly Gallagher
Friends, As I write this, the local news this morning is leading with a story of a police officer killed in the line of duty in Weymouth this past weekend. Officer Michael Chesna and bystander Vera Adams were both shot and succumbed to their injuries. For several years, while a pastor, I served as a chaplain to both the fire and police departments. I am keenly aware of the pain experienced by these departments when one of their own dies in the line of duty. I am also aware of the trauma and ...