United Church of Christ

Devotional Subject: Community

Entrepreneurs came to First Congregational United Church of Christ in Janesville, Wis., and found soil for their seeds of community hope on Saturday, Oct. 19, during a Love Your Neighbor Social Innovation Challenge – something its local, Conference and national organizers hope will spread throughout the UCC.


A hundred children crowded around tables at First Congregational United Church of Christ, bagging up stuff to give away. Except for the national TV cameras, it was just another busy summer weekday at the church in downtown Elyria, Ohio – a small city facing rural as well as rust-belt challenges and blessed by multiple gifts.


I have heard a lot of stories like this, from people who wear a comma pin or carry something that points to our church.


Let this day, this Ash Wednesday, be a day for fewer words all day long. Let it be a day for some stillness, for paying quiet attention to mystery, to beauty, to the sacred.


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.


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.


A rabbi told me that a town with two Jews would need three synagogues: The one I go to; The one you go to; and one neither one of us would be caught dead in. Christians are much the same. But Jesus' prophetic words assure us that someday, God's people will ALL be one – within and across faith groups.