Research vs. Evaluation

Our office recently administered a survey designed to examine the relationship between congregational vitality and ministerial competence / excellence. In particular, the goal was to see whether–on a large scale–particular indicators of vitality correlated with characteristics and qualities of ministerial competence. Last fall, we asked UCC Conference Ministers (leaders of the 38 regional judicatory bodies…

Jesus without His Disciples?

This past week on Maundy Thursday my father played Matthew, the tax collector, in my home church’s annual dramatic depiction of The Last Supper. For over two decades Christ UCC in Dupo, Illinois has celebrated Jesus’ last earthly meal with his disciples this way. In this small community, members and friends alike, come together and…

Generations

On the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, there is an inscription on the face of the library that reads, “Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” As an undergraduate student, I must have passed by that inscription hundreds of times and pondered its meaning. Recently, I was asked to offer a…

Statistics on UCC Female Ministers

Even though Women’s History Month just ended, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the promising trends in the United Church of Christ over the past ten years regarding female ministers. In that short time period, the role of women in ministry has changed dramatically. I was reminded of this fact while…