Spring 2012

Stillspeaking Magazine Fall 2012

Out of the Whirlwind –– Re-Imagining Back Bay Mission

After hurricane Katrina, thousands of United Church of Christ volunteers acted in Christian concern to help in the face of overwhelming difficulty so that the healing process could begin. Back Bay Mission provides the basics –– food, clothing, shelter –– to those in need, as well as extended services in education, health care, housing, family counseling, and more.

Church reborn still thrives on the leading edge

Thriving, turn-around churches in the like Beneficent Congregational take intentional work –– lots of it. The mission of The Center for Progressive Renewal (CPR), funded by the United Church of Christ, is to support the birth of new progressive congregations and renew and strengthen existing progressive churches. CPR understands progressive Christianity as a faith that believes God’s family includes all people. Its work is based on the belief that this is the kind of faith for which millions of Americans hunger.

A beloved community ... still

Churches like St. John’s UCC live out their faith in their communities every day. The Faith,In Project is a UCC initiative to celebrate and promote local mission, love of community, and engagement with community issues and needs. At faithinproject.com, individuals and congregations share what they are doing to make their neighborhood, city, town, or region a better place. While needs vary from place to place, Faith,In recognizes that commitment to where God has placed each of us is a vital component of Christian life. Love your community; live your faith. It's time to put your whole faith in!

The Man Who Forever Changed American Television

Today, the United Church of Christ’s work in media justice continues in OC, Inc., founded in 1959, two years after the formation of the UCC. As a faith community rooted in justice, the UCC recognizes the unique power of the media to shape public understanding and thus society. For this reason, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc. (OC, Inc.) works to create just and equitable media structures that give meaningful voice to diverse peoples, cultures and ideas.

Surviving and Thriving in the Bible Belt: Victory Church, United Church of Christ

Speaking out and taking stands on controversial issues is part of our United Church of Christ heritage. Today, gender and sexuality are at the center of differences of opinion in many church settings. In the UCC, we try to move from disagreement to discussion and discernment on any divisive issue. To that end, the UCC’s Office for LGBT Ministries offers resources to help local churches exploring the decision to become Open and Affirming. Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ's designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

StillSpeaking Magazine

The Fall 2012 issue of StillSpeaking magazine is an examination of hope rising like a phoenix from the ashes of despair or devastation. In this issue are stories of churches renewed –– like Beneficent UCC in Providence, R.I., and St. John’s UCC in St. Louis. You’ll also discover people and places breaking new ground and finding new paths, people who’ve made a difference in their church and in the world: the Rev. Everett Parker who, at 100, continues to be an advocate for women and persons of color in broadcast media; the Rev. Shari Prestemon and Back Bay Mission, as it continues to return from Katrina; the Rev. Ken Samuel and Victory UCC, redefining itself according to God’s call, and many more.