United Church of Christ

Devotional Subject: Worship

The leadership of the United Church of Christ, in a pastoral letter to congregations and clergy, lovingly encourages churches to suspend traditional ways of gathering for worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


They may have closed their buildings in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, but many United Church of Christ congregations still offered the comfort of music and prayer – and urged people to rise up and demand better public-health leadership – as they moved worship services to the internet on Sunday, March 15.


People who use drugs may not come to mind immediately when United Church of Christ members think of values like Extravagant Welcome or Love of Neighbor. A growing community of UCC people is working to change that.


When a young man died of an opioid overdose this summer, the harm reduction movement in the United Church of Christ helped his parents cope with their unimaginable grief and share hope with their son's community.


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.


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


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.


Julie Polter's elegant words perhaps say it best, that "this is the truth of God: all creation is one holy web of relationships, and gifts meant for all; that creation vibrates with the pain of all its parts, because its true destiny is joy."