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…

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…