Bring your church together
Discover Faith Practices, an exciting online resource that’s transforming congregations into communities that worship together, learn together, and serve together.
Faith Practices is for everyone in your congregation:
• Multiage & Intergenerational
• Adult (ages 35+)
• Young Adult (18-35)
• Older Youth (15-19)
• Youth (11-15)
• Older Children (7-11)
• Younger Children (3-7)
Faith Practices encompasses every setting in your congregation:
• Christian Education
• Workshop Rotation
• Worship, Music, Arts, & Story
• UCC Identity & History
• Living Practices in Daily Life
Here's what Faith Practices gives your congregation
• 12 different faith practices to explore over the coming years - 6 already available!
• 600+ activities per faith practice from which to choose – that’s 50+ activities per age group or setting!
• Online downloads that are always available when you need them.
• Accessible content and attractive presentation that volunteers and professional educators will love.
• Non-linear activities that weave education into the full fabric of congregational life, including worship.
The following Faith Practices are available
1) Giving and Receiving Hospitality
Create a community that welcomes all, especially those who are different from the mainstream of the current community.
2) Keeping Sabbath
Be intentional about rest, worship, and working for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.
3) Living Stewardship
Live in harmony with others and the world, through relationships, liberation, grace, justice, peace, mutuality and material possessions.
4) Playing and Living Joyfully
Include God in your recreation and re-creation, doing justice and moving outside yourself into sharing one with another.
5) Giving Testimony and Witness
Recognize God's action in your life and find ways to express it meaningfully with others.
6) Encountering Scripture
Listen to what the sacred texts tell us about our common family story and the Christian community.
New Practice partially Available
7) Praying and Making Ritual
Prayer is an essential practice of faith and tradition—many of us long for a deeper life of prayer, whether it’s a conversation with God or an activity that permeates every facet of our life. This practice will guide you to living prayerfully so you may begin to develop a worldview that understands our daily lives as an extension of our communal worship. You will reclaim familiar rituals; explore new ones; begin to recognize the holy in the ordinary; mark time and space as sacred; and give meaning to the whole of our experience.
Faith Practices is the best investment for your congregation:
Your congregation will pay only $300 to get Faith Practices – an amazing price for such a versatile, all-encompassing resource! This will be your only payment. No passwords, renewals, or expiration dates! And since Faith Practices materials are not dated, they are yours to keep and use...over and over...forever and ever...in many exciting ways:
+ Have your congregation or leadership choose a practice as a theme for the year, then infuse every event and activity with the related Faith Practices materials. Include the items in your church newsletters, too.
+ Gather groups in your congregation according to their vocations: business people, public educators, medical folks, scientists, farmers, tech folks, and others; use the Living Practices in Daily Life resource as a conversation starter to help them link their faith to life.
+ Meet at a coffee shop or café with anyone who is interested in talking about using a practice in daily life.
+ Use prayers and other worship ideas to begin and end board and committee meetings, potlucks and other church meals, choir practices, mission activities, youth group gatherings, church work days and more.
+ Send activity suggestions to parents/guardians/caregivers for use at home.
+ Encourage your stewardship committee to adopt the Living Stewardship theme for a year and use the materials throughout the congregation. Do the same with other practices and committees.
+ Find someone in the congregation with a passion for a particular practice and talk with them about working with those resources to get the congregation started on using them.
+ Use the Multiage/Intergenerational resource for a particular practice at monthly/quarterly/other regular gatherings.
+ Pick a practice and use that resource during an all-church retreat or camp.
+ Use Scriptures from the resources to plan congregational worship and Bible study sessions.
+ The list goes on and on – there are so many fantastic ways to make Faith Practices work for your congregation! Think outside the box – there’s no wrong way!
+ If you've found a cool way to use Faith Practices, please share with: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodney L. Mundy
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
In a further effort to simplify the process of getting information and obtaining materials, the UCC's web team and publishing group have consolidated all product ordering through an integrated e-commerce module on the UCC.org website.
Most significantly, this change streamlines the process by which site visitors can find and order materials that were previously housed in separate online stores maintained by the Pilgrim Press and United Church Press.
"We are pleased that our web host can accommodate an e-commerce store this large," said Timothy Staveteig, publisher of the presses. "This new relationship offers fuller descriptions, more discount options and more personalized service. This change streamlines searches and purchases."
Staveteig notes that while the new catalog is available for customer use and testing, the former stores will remain active during a brief testing period.
Another innovation of this integration is the concept of "single sign-on." Site visitors will now have only one account at the ucc.org website – allowing them to access their preferences on UCC.org, order from the online store and access the forthcoming myUCC social networking site.
"One of our goals was to create seamless experiences for those on our website," said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, UCC Director of Communications. "People will find the UCC's new e-commerce module to be a significant step above what we used to offer and the single log-in function will mean you only have to remember one password to access everything that ucc.org has to offer."
"WORK GROUP" suggestions
(In no particular order)
LINKS for further exploration
A Message From Steve
I am delighted that so many of you are energized by the idea of changing the way we do our work. I have heard reports and questions from staff engaged in forming work groups proposals.
Just for clarification and guidance, I want to review the current tasks:
1. You are invited to prepare a proposal(s) for a work group around your passion and interest relating to our vision of nurturing the vitality of local churches.
2. Work groups may include partners from across LCM, other Covenanted ministries, Conferences, or other partners in our work.
3. The work group proposal should include a list of the partners, a set of clear and measurable goals, and a timeline. The work groups are to be time limited, so there needs to be an end date for them, although at the end date they might be renewed in a similar or different form.
4. The proposals will be reviewed by the LCM leadership team. Some will be selected to help us test this model.
Please feel free to be in touch with me if you have questions. I am grateful for your work. I pray for all of you a Joyful Easter season.
Stephen L. Sterner
Acting Executive Minister for Local Church Ministries
The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer is the Acting Executive Minister of the United Church of Christ's Local Church Ministries.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, former conference minister of the Southwest Conference of the UCC, is the ninth general minister and president of the United Church of Christ.
Prior to his role at the Southwest Conference, Dorhauer served as associate conference minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and also served local churches in rural Missouri. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, where he studied white privilege and its effects on the church.
Dorhauer is passionate about justice. Two statements that shape his theology are: "God is love. God is just." Along with his passion for justice, Dorhauer has a passion for and love of baseball – specifically the St. Louis Cardinals – music, literature and poetry. He has been married to his wife for nearly 31 years and they have three children.
Dorhauer was chosen as the GMP candidate by an 18-member search committee in February 2015. His candidacy was confirmed by the UCC Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote in March. He was elected at the 30th General Synod, which met June 26-30, 2015 in Cleveland.
Local Church Ministries is one of four Covenanted Ministries in the United Church of Christ. Our purpose is to encourage and support the church's congregations in the fulfillment of God's mission. Local Church Ministries' specific thematic areas can be found below:
These teams support local congregations in their concerns about growth, finances, liturgy and education; support ordained and lay ministers in their vocations; and manage with the Office of General Ministries, the UCC's publishing houses and distribution services.