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Category: The Church

NANOE Will Not Help Your Church

It’s been a long time since I heard from the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives (NANOE). But recently, emails from NANOE started popping up in my church inbox, each one asking me to join them for a church-oriented course on major gifts. I don’t know if any…

A New Form of (Church) Government

Over the course of nine months or so this year, my congregation worked on a complete revision of our church by-laws. We adopted the new by-laws by an overwhelming margin on November 17. It was a huge process—involving every single committee in the church—and I’m really happy with how…

“Can’t the Church Just Do It?” Is One of My Least Favorite Genres

I’ll start by putting this mildly: the church has an uncertain position in modern society. Fewer people identify as Christian, fewer people attend or otherwise support the church, and fewer people trust the church to exercise moral authority. There are reasons for that. Some of them are good, and…

Scenes from General Synod 2019

A week-and-a-half-ago or so, I attended the United Church of Christ’s General Synod in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is a time when a couple thousand people from across the denomination gather together to vote on resolutions, attend workshops and rallies, learn about what is happening in the denomination, hang out…

Can We Stop Using the Phrase ‘Frozen Chosen’?

Recently, I was perusing the workshops that will be offered at the United Church of Christ’s General Synod this summer and I came across one with this title: “Thawing the ‘Frozen Chosen’”. I have no problem with the content of the workshop, which is about using and teaching liturgical…

Membership and Engagement

This post is based, in part, on this post from 2017. Lent is a season of confession and penance, fasting and self-denial. Lent is a season of preparation for the greatest celebration on the church calendar. Lent is a season of preparing for Easter and the declaration of our…

The Church Is Not a Business

I attend a lot of church meetings. And I’ve been attending these meetings for years. This includes the meetings where we have conversations — sometimes they’re very difficult conversations — about money. We talk about how we’re going to raise the money we need in order to do the things we…

The Christian Persecution Complex

According to legend, Stephen was the first Christian martyr. One of the seven deacons appointed by the apostles to distribute food to widows in the community, he was full of grace and power, and a compelling speaker. He was arrested for blasphemy, brought before the Sanhedrin, and stoned.1Acts 6:1-7:60…

“Don’t Be a Jerk” Is Not the Core Message of the Gospel

The post that set this post off is an old one from John Pavlovitz: The Church of Not Being Horrible. The core of that post is a common one. What we really need — what would cut to the heart of the Christian gospel and maybe even all religion — is…

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