Remembering Savigny-le-Vieux and Thirty Children Who Were Saved: Some Lessons for the Church About Patriotism and Moral Courage

On a recent Sunday, after leading worship at Groton Community Church (UCC), I sat in on a caregiving committee meeting at one of the most progressive UCC churches in our Association. Before long, the meeting devolved into a discussion about displaying the American flag in the church sanctuary during worship services. Sigh. Later that afternoon,…

Avoiding Women at All Cost: The #MeToo Backlash and Boundary Awareness Chauvinism in the Church

In a recent column, syndicated Washington Post commentator Kathleen Parker called attention to a Bloomberg News article about the #MeToo movement. The article noted how, due to #MeToo’s notoriety, and in light of several well-publicized accusations of sexual harassment and assault, some Wall Street men have become “so concerned about what they might say or do” in…

The Waning Dominance and Influence of White Christians in America: What It Means for the United States and for the UCC

“Long the dominant group in American religious life, White Christians have fallen below a majority of the U.S. population—and are moving to the right politically as they recede.” So wrote CNN and Los Angeles Times political analyst Ronald Brownstein, in an article that highlighted the results of a 2015 Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Survey.…

God Bless the Child That’s Got Her Own: Dysfunction and Economic Unfairness in America and in the Church

In a lengthy essay that was excerpted from his latest book, lawyer and journalist Steven Brill wrote of a widespread perception that America no longer works socially, politically, and economically, and that our country has become narcissistic and sclerotic. This is largely the fault of the Baby Boomer generation, Brill argued (“How Baby Boomers Broke…

Intersecting Snapshots: The American Mainline Church and the UCC

Are the changes and trends that are occurring in the American Protestant Church—and particularly, in the old mainline (e.g., Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Methodist) congregations—also evident in the United Church of Christ (UCC)? Obviously, the United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant denomination.  Yet it may be distinguished from the old mainline by its relatively…