Rev. Dr. Patrick G. Duggan
In her opening remarks a few days ago, a television news reporter said that most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten by January 20.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s words on the "fierce urgency of now" ring and thunder today, as they did when he first spoke the resounding phrase.
I am bored with the narrative of church decline. Sure, fewer people are going to church. Some churches are closing. I understand the impulse to throw your hands up in despair, change occupations, or hold out until retirement then wish the next generation good luck. Yet I’m optimistic. I am seeing a new path of enormous opportunity -- one that calls us to greater imagination, risk-taking and reinvention. God is leading us down this new path, and I see churches finding success on it.
It is the Feast of the Epiphany. Also called Theophany and Three Kings Day. Many Orthodox Christians are celebrating Christmas, and in many cultural traditions, children are setting out hay or straw for camels and singing at houses of neighbors with abandon!
Rev. Ivy Beckwith
My favorite day of 2014 was December 21. It was not my favorite day because it was the first day of winter. I could happily live in a winterless world.
Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Maybe being a little more religious at Christmas could propel us to re-think what being “really religious” might just look like for real, all the time – not for others, but for us.
Rev. Kate Matthews Huey
At our first Sunday morning worship at Amistad Chapel UCC, we heard Paul's words to the Thessalonians, possibly the oldest in the New Testament, as a litany by David Schoen in Worship Ways, "To All the People of the Church." I also shared something I had found that week in the Church House: a bumper sticker bearing the words of an ad created for Facebook: "BE THE CHURCH. Protect the environment. Care for the poor. Embrace diversity. Reject racism. Forgive often. Love God. Fight for the powerless. Share earthly and spiritual resources. Enjoy this life. God is still speaking. UNITED CHURCH of CHRIST."
By Heather Kimmel
Do you love a good website? I do. I love going to a website that is full of colorful pictures, catchy slogans, and well-written (but short!) text that describes exactly what the website is advertising. I especially love a good church website, with pictures of the congregation engaged in powerful moments, inspirational words from the pastor, and an easily-located calendar of events that lets me know exactly when and where the next worship service will be held. A good website is a powerful tool—by letting a person know exactly what to expect when she attends a worship service, a good website can convince her to show up for worship instead of just thinking about it.
Rev. Holly MillerShank
The United Church of Christ has made significant strides in becoming a Multi-Cultural/Multi-Racial, Open and Affirming, Accessible to All church. As we strive for these ideals of inclusion and wholeness, however, we continue to be plagued by bias, both conscious and unconscious.
It took me a few years into my time with the United Church of Christ to grasp the exalted place that 'covenant' holds in our ethos.