You’ve probably been reading about church decline and the rise of the Nones, Dones and SBNRs (Spiritual But Not Religious) in the news. Here is just one such article: In US, Decline of Christianity Continues at a Rapid Pace, Pew Research Center, Oct. 2019 Charlie Kuchenbrod and I are among those who respond to calls from local churches when the evidence of numerical decline and institutional ill-health begin to mount. We began to wonder together about how to deploy resources to churches ...
"Our dependence on fossil fuel, if left unchecked, will eventually render much of our world uninhabitable." — Rev. Lois Happe
Choosing to actively engage in a community of faith is a lot like childbirth. It is about pushing and breathing. Constantly. Consistently.
When you work at partnerships, you build relationships... and through that you build community.
Youth gathered at Silver Lake on October 11-13 for the annual Shine 4 Justice retreat. This retreat is a component of the 'Thinking About Working For God' program that nurtures young leaders. Dr. Donique McIntosh and Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton led the racial justice training programming. They encouraged youth to "Step up,Step up." reminding them to lean in to honest conversation and to listen with compassion. This reflection comes from Elise Kennedy, an 8th grader at First Congregational Church...
Ridgebury Congregational Church’s pastor, Debbie Rundlett, invited Charlie Kuchenbrod, Executive Associate Conference Minister, to share some stewardship wisdom and a charge to the congregation. Here is that charge. “God is always calling us to be more than we are.” - Loren Meade “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” - Frederick Buechner What is God calling you to be? You have gifts, and gifts need cultivation. Even masters ...
This past weekend, I traveled from New York City to Framingham, Massachusetts to give my second-ever presentation at Super Saturday. Its purpose: answering God’s call for the United Church of Christ to be an inclusive church where LGBTQ+ folks can belong and to dismantle homophobic interpretations of the Hebrew Bible and Second Testament. After walking into the building and registering at the presenter’s check-in table, I found the high school classroom where I would lead this workshop. I ...
Twenty-three youth from five Southern New England UCC churches and their leaders gathered for a Youth Program at the Super Saturday event on October 5th ready to put their faith into action.
I remember my first National Youth Event in 2008. I was working as a youth leader at a local church and had gathered a group to go to University of Tennessee. After an overnight bus ride from CT, checking into dormitories, we walked across campus along Pat Summit Street and Chamique Holdsclaw Drive into the Vols arena. Over 3000 youth in colorful t-shirts were taking their seats...
I’ve never felt particularly called to focus my activism on climate change. I’ve tried to be mindful of my use of resources, but the movement itself, while obviously necessary, isn’t where I’ve put my energy. Truth be told, I hadn’t really been following the climate crisis movement at all when I signed up for the UCC Creation Justice Webinar about the climate strike, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect during that hour. As I listened to the panelists in the webinar explain how we as adults ...