The Last Pastor

After being the last pastor in a congregation, Reverend Gail Cafferata, wondered “how other pastors and congregations who experienced the closing of a church felt and, particularly, how it affected pastors who, like me, had accepted their call with starry-eyed hopes for renewal.”  Her wondering led Cafferata, an Episcopal priest and sociologist to study, research…

The Abundance of Retired Clergy

Over the past century, American life expectancy has increased by nearly 50% (as seen here). We in the U.S. now have multiple generations facing significantly longer lifespans than their parents and grandparents. The fastest-growing population here is, in fact, people over 85 years old. This has literally never happened before in human history, and we,…

New Data on Church Closures

This week’s post is from Rev. David Schoen, author of Facing Your Church’s Uncertain Future: Helpful Practices for Courageous Conversations & Faithful Decisions. To contact Rev. Schoen, email him at dschoen@ucc.org.   Are church closures increasing? It’s a question that I’m often asked. Through the work of the UCC Center for Analytics, Research and Data…

Congregations and Pastors Want to Talk about Race and Racism, Religious Discrimination, and Hate-Crimes on Campus. (Just Kidding. They Don’t. But American College Students Do.)

There is an old joke about a dog food company that was failing.  The CEO called her top executives together and railed at them. “Why is our product such a loser?” she snapped.  “We have the best people, the best kitchens, and the best marketing and advertising campaign. We deliver our product to the best…