August - September 2008

"We're not all stamped out with a cookie cutter."
The Rev. Craig Cowing, pastor of the Blooming Grove UCC in New York, speaking about the diversity of opinion of UCC members and churches in a feature story about the denomination in the Times Herald-Record. (July 7)

"Women have made inroads to make changes … There are a lot of female pastors, but it is sometimes hard to break down barriers."
— The Rev. Donna Cassity, interim pastor of Center Congregational UCC in Meriden, Conn., in a story about three local UCC clergywomen. In the Connecticut Conference, among its 624 active and retired clergy, 236 are women, including the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, Connecticut Conference Minister. (Record-Journal, July 6)

"We felt it important to say that the will of God was that people be engaged in this struggle against the powers and principalities that were oppressing them. Racial injustice is a legacy of the slave period and continues until this day."
-— The Rev. Sterling Cary, retired UCC pastor, and the first African-American president of the National Council of Churches (1972 to 1975), in an interview with National Public Radio.

"One of the words that is part of our mission statement, and has been a central work for us, is the word 'sanctuary.' We want our church to be a safe place for all people."
— The Rev. Susie B. Smith, pastor of the seven-month-old Peace Congregational UCC in Clemson, S.C., where 100 worshippers are regularly attending services. "Church on the Fringe" was the headline of the local news story. The congregation is the UCC's first church in the upstate South Carolina region. (Daily Journal-Messenger, July 5)



Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115