United Church of Christ

Devotional Subject: Evangelism

Two longtime pastors who also served in the national ministries of the United Church of Christ have died: the Rev. David Beebe, 88, and the Rev. Guillermo "Gil" Bergado, 91.

The Rev. Edwin O. Ayala, who led Latinx congregations of the United Church of Christ in Connecticut, served on the denomination's national staff, and headed an ecumenical agency in Hartford, died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 23. He was 71.

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.