Written by John Dorhauer
I have the most amazing job.
I get to travel across the country and visit our local churches and their leaders.
Everywhere I go, I swell with pride at what the United Church of Christ commits to every day to change lives and change the world. In little burgs and villages, in suburbs and cities, our churches make such a profound difference — and I get to witness it first hand.
On the list of churches I have visited so far, and this is not in any way comprehensive (we don’t have the time or space to list them all), these are some of the congregations who are doing amazing work:
Smith Memorial in Hillsborough N.H., where pastor Eric Jackson is preaching a sermon series from box office hits –– bringing pop culture and the gospel into the worship space.
Hillsborough UCC in North Carolina keeps putting up rainbow flags in a state where HB2 was written to terrorize transgender citizens, and their flags keep getting stolen or burned. But that doesn’t stop them from putting up another one!
Westminster UCC in Spokane, Wash., where they are holding “Enhancing the Survival Mindset” self-defense classes for women again this spring, in partnership with the local police department.
First Congregational UCC in Berkeley, Calif., where youth pastor the Rev. Kit Novotny has produced a Rihanna parody with members of her church to promote their worship and ministry.
Zion United Church of Christ, Mayview, Mo., where last fall, they did a blessing of the animals.
St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon, Ill., who invited Dr. Zulfia Shaikh, founder of the Bangalore School of Speech and Drama in Bangalore, India. While at St. Paul, she spoke in both worship services of her faith journey as a Muslim in today's world.
- Old South Church in Boston, where, on Phyllis Wheatley Sunday, they gave their Open Door Award to Sarah-Ann Shaw, Boston’s first female African-American television reporter.
This is but a taste of the glorious work that is done every week through the mission and ministry of our local churches.
What an honor it is to serve such a people. You make me so very proud. No matter where your church is located, no matter your size or your setting, remember that you were birthed for mission — and what you do changes lives!
Keep doing what you do, and never flag in your zeal to engage in the kind of mission that will make the world a better place.
Sparking Ministry Conversations
What is bringing you zeal in your congregation and as you engage across ministry settings? How is zeal sparking mission and changing lives?
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer serves as general minister and president of the United Church of Christ.