In a Dark Time, the Eye Begins to See: The Coronovirus Pandemic, the Church, and the Progressive Social Conscience

Rev. Chris Xenakis is a UCC pastor currently serving Groton Community Church (UCC) in Central New York. In addition, he is an adjunct lecturer at SUNY-Cortland, teaching courses this year on world politics, democracy, U.S. foreign policy and multiculturalism. Chris has written numerous books and articles, which can be found on his blog.   It all…

The Coming Loneliness

Rev. L. Gail Irwin has served UCC and PCUSA churches as a settled and Intentional Interim Pastor. She is a freelance writer for The Christian Century and author of Toward the Better Country: Church Closure and Resurrection (Wipf & Stock, 2014), which was written under a Louisville Institute research grant. Her blog can be found…

COVID-19 and Church Closures

This week, we hear from David Schoen, dschoen@ucc.org  a Minister for Church Legacy & Closure, UCC Church Building & Loan Fund. During the “The Last Pastor: Faithfully Closing a Church” zoom webinar this past May, the chat space suddenly filled up with messages from pastors expressing the challenge of engaging in the closure process during COVID-19.…

All Saints by the Numbers

Rev. Daniel Haas is currently serving as a chaplain in hospice, hospital, and Army Reserve. Rev. Haas loves numbers, manages his own blog, and helps churches with their social media, website, and communications needs.   Today is All Saints Day. The Sunday before or after my congregations used to invite next of kin for those…

Two Words That Could Change Your Life: Just Listen!

This week we hear from Rev. Bobbie McKay, Ph.D.,  a UCC  minister, author, and licensed psychologist. Rev. McKay co-created The Spiritual Health Center, NFP, and conducted a research study on Spiritual Life in the United Church of Christ. Based on the findings of this study, “Spiritual Life Teams” were born and the study has been extended into the Episcopal…

If Hope Were a Country, How Would You Find It?

This blog is about data, which is in great supply these days. Each week I read an update from my home state of Massachusetts about the state’s efforts to combat the corona-virus, which is now beginning to slosh back over the state as the numbers are creeping back up. The granularity of this data is…

On Passing and Flunking the God Test During a Pandemic

David Kaden is the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Ithaca, NY, and holds a PhD in the academic study of religion from the University of Toronto. He has taught at Cornell University, University of Toronto, St. Olaf College, and the New York School of Ministry. His first book was Matthew, Paul, and the Anthropology of…