What Church Vitality Is Not

Late spring / early summer is a busy season in the life of the United Church of Christ—many annual meetings are taking place within conferences and associations. I was privileged to attend one such meeting and offer a keynote and workshop for the Minnesota Conference annual gathering in June. The theme of the meeting was…

Does The United Church of Christ (UCC) Have A Big-City, Big-Church, Liberal Bias?

Does the United Church of Christ (UCC) have a big-city, big-church, liberal bias? I’ve been hearing UCC lay people—and remarkably, pastors—level this charge, in three different Conferences and in various churches, since my “privilege-of-call” days in the Potomac Association of the Central Atlantic Conference in the early 1990s. Two recent instances: This past spring, a…

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

The Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi recently published a special report for Faith Communities Today (FACT) titled, American Congregations 2015: Engaging Young Adults.  Rev. Lizardy-Hajbi looked specifically at young adult (ages 18-34) engagement (or lack thereof) in U.S congregational life and attempts to identify the characteristics of congregations that have thriving young adult participation.  Kristina is…

2015 UCC Statistical Profile Now Available

We in the Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD) publish an annual Statistical Profile on the state of the United Church of Christ, past and present. Click here to access the free, downloadable PDF of this year’s Profile, which includes statistics on congregations, membership, and finances. This year, there are also two Special Reports–the…

Changing Trends in the Church: Racial/Ethnic Diversity

This week, we are exploring a major trend identified in the latest wave of the National Congregations Study (NCS). According to its website, the NCS serves as “an ongoing national survey effort to gather information about the basic characteristics of America’s congregations. The first wave of the NCS took place in 1998, Wave II was fielded in…

New Congregations Study

In 2013, a multi-denominational study of new and renewing congregations was conducted by Dr. Marjorie Royle through the Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement (CASA) Team of the United Church of Christ and the Center for Progressive Renewal. The results below were from the survey sample of new UCC congregations and were compiled by Dr. Royle.…