United Church of Christ

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The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

Sometimes religion can be a means of escape from the urgent realities of now.

A Prayer for the New Year

Sometimes a prayer like this is needed to wake us from our slumber, to shake us loose from our fears, and to set us on our way of "immediacy" toward long-forgotten hopes and longings and dreams. I think this is a prayer for the New Year.


The word “creed” comes from the Latin “credo,” which means “I believe.” It’s a statement of faith, an attempt to capture in words the essence of the content of the faith.


Nobody likes goodbyes, and we go to many lengths to soften or avoid them. A colleague leaves or a friend moves, and we say it’s not goodbye because we promise to have lunch, or to write, or to Facebook. Sometimes we avoid the moment altogether: even though I barely knew her, I once hid in the bathroom for half an hour at a coworker’s goodbye party to avoid the moment when she actually left.

A Mother's Work is Never Done

This story cracks me up. Simon's mother was very ill, consumed with a fever, but Jesus was able to cure his friend's mother, to literally "raise her up." What a moment that must have been.

Non-Verbal Communication

Dr. Fred Craddock, my homiletics professor in seminary, used to tell us often: "Preach Christ. Use words if you have to."

Shout Out to Sunday School Teachers

It occurs to me this being Saturday, and early in September, there may be a fair number of folks preparing their first Sunday School lesson of the year today (or tonight). Thank you.

Spiritual but Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.

On airplanes, I dread the conversation with the person who finds out I am a minister and wants to use the flight time to explain to me that he is "spiritual but not religious." Such a person will always share this as if it is some kind of daring insight, unique to him, bold in its rebellion against the religious status quo.

Jesus is the Question

Jesus asks 307 different questions in the gospels. (No, I didn't count them myself, but someone did.) By contrast, Jesus only directly answers three of the 183 questions he is asked in the gospels. Instead of answering a lot of questions, Jesus responds in other ways.


Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell I like atheists. They tend to have considered the issues. They tend to have asked themselves the holy questions about the origins of the universe, about happiness, about what constitutes the good life, about good and evil, injustice and mercy, about how to live.