Clergy confessional (75) Women’s Work

The tiny church I grew up in was run almost entirely by women. Women led worship – ran meetings – taught Sunday school – they did almost everything (being the pastor would come later). My mom was a working mother – and this was in the 1960’s and beyond. I didn’t grow up with the…

Clergy Confessional (73) How the Church Lost Christmas

The Pew Research Center just released a report saying that while a small majority of Americans still celebrate a “religious” Christmas, that number is slowing dropping, and has been for some time. Really? Anyone who has been paying attention can attest to this. Churches are closing daily, and many of those still alive seem to…

Clergy Confessional (72) Act like it is Thanksgiving Every Day

When I read the local newspaper (yes – I am a dinosaur), I am often touched by the generosity of our community. On Thanksgiving – and the days that followed – I saw the many places that had meals for people in need of food. I think this is a beautiful thing – but it…

Clergy Confessional (71) Being Thankful

One of the things that makes me bristle is when people say how blessed they are. It isn’t that I don’t feel blessed – I absolutely do! My concern comes when being blessed is equated with “the good life”, and the idea that God has given you or me a good life because God prefers…

Clergy Confession (69) Embarrassed by Wealth

In the church, we are embarrassed by money. It is, for many in the Mainline Church, a dirty subject only to be dealt with at Stewardship time.  The reason some churches thrive is that their members are expected to give generously. We easily forget, however, that Jesus taught about money more than heaven or hell,…

Clergy Confessional (68) Stop Blaming God

I am a practicing Christian – and by practicing, I mean that I am literally working at being a follower of Jesus every day, and I try to get better at as I grow older. Sometimes I hit the mark – sometimes I don’t. I – like any person of faith – am a work…

Clergy Confessional (67) – Admit what you are

Bill Cosby is trying to get a judge to recuse himself from sentencing him, and Mr. Cosby’s wife is saying that Bill didn’t get a fair trial. Some members of the Catholic hierarchy are running scared because of the role they played in the systemic rape of children, trying to hide behind the church for…

Clergy Confessional (66) – Meant to Thrive, not just Survive

You have heard me – and many others – write about how the times for the church are changing dramatically. This is true, but I believe this change has been going on for at least 40 years. One paper I read years ago claimed that this has been happening since the 1930’s! The research showed…

Clergy Confessional (65) When Churches Close

I heard today that two more UCC congregations in the county in which my congregation is located have voted to close. It is a tragic thing to watch – the members and clergy of these congregations served God and their communities in incredibly faithful ways. Most of our congregations  – include my own – could…