"If faith formation is to be relevant and transformational, it must be renewed and reimagined by every generation." —Karen Ziel
by Rev. Dr. Jessica McArdle [The first Passover] was a vigil held by the Lord…to bring God’s people out of the land of Egypt.~ Exodus 11:42 Then Jesus said, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and keep watch with me.~ Matthew 26:38 Earlier this spring, I was invited to an interfaith panel presentation and discussion on death and the afterlife. It was just a few short weeks after the Parkland High School shooting. The gathered assembly represented a diverse background in ...
"The only fact that matters is that we persist; that we do not turn from the path we have chosen." —TJ Harper
Your congregation's history matters - and not just to the people in the pews.
Friends, On July 1st I stepped into a new role as your Transitional Interim Conference Minister. It was only one day after many of you had participated in rallies that echoed across the country calling out for compassion and justice for children. It was only a couple of weeks after many of you were part of an overwhelming vote to bring three conferences in southern New England into closer connection and collaboration. At such a time as this, we have a lot of work to do. Fortunately, we also ...
During the Winter 2018 storms, a well-known disaster response organization reached out to local churches to see if any of them could offer shelter accommodations to about a dozen people...Having an agreement with response/relief agencies BEFORE a disaster occurs will go far to smooth out the process.
In the 1950s, a new church start pastor challenged every member to invite two newcomers each month. Members enthusiastically committed to such a plan and the pastor’s wife, feeling a special call to grow the children’s ministry, regularly prayed for new babies to be part of the church’s growth. No one was more surprised than she was when half of the young couples in the congregation became pregnant that year! Although this was not an intentional church growth strategy, growing families primarily...
As I stood with my sign for the Poor People’s Campaign on the Washington DC Mall listening to voices and stories from people on the margins of our society, I kept looking behind me wondering how many people were going to show up. In my mind’s eye I imagined those grainy photographs from the same location fifty years ago – a sea of people in black and white. Thousands of bodies standing together, packed in tight for a compelling cause. L to R Two UCC compatriots with Rev. June Cooper, City ...
"The Bible is a not a book free of politics." —Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer
"High touch—paying attention—reduces these anxieties." —Martha Goodman