February - March 2008

"Tomorrow is, increasingly, today. And whether the day of the Lord Jesus is beyond the mythic Jordan, or on this side of the crossing where our world threatens now to end in fire and flood, the fierce urgency of now is very real."

The Rev. John H. Thomas, preaching at a Martin Luther King Sunday worship service (Jan. 20), at First Congregational UCC in Berkeley, Calif.

"That's what the UCC wants, and that's what we want."

David Plunkett, a spokesperson for Cathedral of Hope UCC in Dallas, Texas, talking to the Dallas Voice newspaper about his church's plans to start five churches in five years. Cathedral of Hope UCC leaders say they are actively supporting the denomination's call for 250 new churches by 2011. (See story on page 7.)

"If you feel that gay and lesbian people are loved and created by God, then how can we continue to discriminate against our brothers and sisters?"

The Rev. Don Portwood, pastor of Lyndale UCC in Minneapolis, about his decision and that of several other clergy in the city, to stop signing heterosexual marriage licenses as long as same-sex couples are denied legal marriage opportunities. (Associated Press, Jan. 5)

"Homelessness is not just an urban problem. It doesn't matter where you live; poverty is growing, homelessness is growing."

The Rev. Chuck Currie, interim pastor at Parkrose Community UCC in Portland, Ore., before he and eight others spent the night outside in cold temperatures to draw attention to the issue of homelessness. At the beginning of the evening, a prayer vigil for the homeless was held at Cedar Hills UCC, also in Portland. (Washington County News-Times, Jan. 9)

No single church can be all things to all people all of the time, but Trinity UCC has been an important presence for a lot of people for a long time, including people of many racial and ethnic groups."

The Rev. Philip L. Blackwell, senior pastor of Chicago's First United Methodist Church (The Chicago Temple), on the Chicago Sun-Times news blog (Jan. 23). 


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