Incivility in the Public Square and in the American Church

A virulent debate came to a head over this past Fourth of July (2018) weekend, in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States, over the lack of—and the utter need for—“civility” in the public square. As CNN producer Harmeet Kaur noted, with the “growth [of] outrage” over our country’s “immigration policies and [its] separation and detention…

Something is Profoundly Wrong at the Heart of the White Church

“Charmaine Pruitt wrote the names of 12 churches on strips [of paper], and dropped them into a bag. It was Sunday morning and time to pick which church to attend.” That’s how journalist Campbell Robertson began his investigative account of how Christians of color are abandoning white Evangelicalism (“A Quiet Exodus: Why Blacks Are Leaving…

Has the Church Squeezed Young People Out?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: church is a luxury that many can’t afford. Disagree? Consider Squeezed as your summer read. I read books to find out new ideas, get fresh perspectives, and catch a glimpse into different people’s lives. It’s rare for a book to also really resonate with my own state of mind and…

Loaves and Fishes, the Church and the Hungry

Some of my favorite stories from the bible are the ones where Jesus takes some loaves of bread and a few fish and feeds the thousands of hungry people who have come to hear him teach and experience his healing touch. There is something so simple, so satisfying about feeding those who are hungry. I…

The Costs of Ministry – And Who Pays?

This week’s post is by Rev. Malcolm Himschoot who serves the United Church of Christ as the Minister for Ministerial Transitions with the Ministerial Excellence, Support, and Authorization (MESA) Team. He is also current Vice President of the Board of the Interim Ministry Network. Possible changes to the clergy tax benefit of designated housing allowance…

Balancing Mission and Metrics

This week’s post is written by the Rev. Dr. Patrick G. Duggan, Executive Director of the United Church of Christ Church Building & Loan Fund. Since 1995, Rev. Dr. Duggan has also served as senior pastor of the Congregational Church of South Hempstead in South Hempstead, New York. After presenting to a group of about…

“Where are the Monks and Nuns in the UCC?”

I heard it, but I couldn’t believe it. “Where are the monks and nuns in the UCC?” The question struck me to my core. This question came up in April of this year, as the national leadership of the United Church of Christ hosted a theological formation summit in Cleveland. Entitled “From the Ground Up,”…