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…

Do Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregations Have More Vitality?

Rev. Dr. Chris Davies is the Team Leader for Faith Education, Innovation and Formation.  She focuses on spiritual innovation, resourcing local congregations, and helping vision towards the future of the church I have often heard questions about the correlation between a church’s status as an ONA church and their congregational vitality. While we can clearly…

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…

What’s New in CARD?

CARD has two major announcements this month. We are happy to share that we have a new Director for the office and the 2018 UCC Statistical Profile is now available! Click here to access the free downloadable PDF, which includes statistics about congregations, membership, finances, as well as ministerial trends. Additionally, we like to highlight…

Insights on Vital Transformative Congregations

This week’s blog post is written by Reverend David Schoen, Minister for Church Legacy and Closure, for the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund. How would you define and describe spiritually vital transformative congregations? Faith Communities Today recently released Vital Congregations, a study on the meaning of spiritual vitality, as well as on becoming vital congregations,…

Bringing on the Future: Letting Go to Let Come

This week’s blog post is written by Reverend David Schoen, Minister for Church Legacy and Closure, for the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund. In the late winter, early spring there’s a lot to do to get fruit gardens ready for the summer.  Pruning raspberries and grape vines, as well as fruit trees is something that…