Fitness Reviews and Ministry Experience

This week’s post is written by Rev. Elizabeth Dilley of the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) Team within the UCC’s national setting.  Every year, I do a deeper dive into data related to fitness reviews, the disciplinary reviews in the United Church of Christ. Last year, I explored outcomes of fitness reviews. This year, in…

What is Good Preaching?

The Pew Research Center has released a study about what folks look for when looking for a new church. Considering that half of U.S. adults end up looking for a new church at some point in their lives, this is a crucial study for understanding the vitality of the modern American Church. So what are folks…

Candy and Collapse: A New Way of Looking at Failure

The story is a familiar one. A mainline congregation fell on rough times. The neighborhood that nurtured this downtown congregation in the 1950’s had changed. The congregation was once the center of social life for the neighborhood and its residents. But families moved out to the suburbs. Houses in the shadow of the church were…

UCC Evangelicals and Progressives: How They’re Different. Why It Matters.

Recently, some United Church of Christ (UCC) friends asked me what the difference is between Progressive and Evangelical churches and beliefs. With more passion than wisdom, I bit off on their bait. I said that Evangelical congregations can be Southern Baptist, Reformed, Wesleyan, and Lutheran (Missouri Synod). They can belong to charismatic or Pentecostal fellowships like the Assemblies…