Connecting Beyond the Local Church

Davida Foy Crabtree completes her service as the Interim Conference Minister for the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ later this month.  As one who has benefited from her leadership, I share her parting prayer (the prayer originally circulated in the e-Celebrate newsletter dated September 3, 2014): Behold, God, your Conference, the United Church of Christ in Florida! Filled with life and hope, struggling at times to see the future, but faithful and strong, these Your people are Read More …

More Decline in the Mainline: UCC in Florida

I recently received the latest statistics about the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ.  Between 2000 and 2010 membership declined 23.6% and giving through congregations to Our Church's Wider Mission (provides funding for the work of UCC Conference and National ministries) declined 42.7%.   So What? The Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ is not unique.  Mainline churches have been experiencing membership decline for decades.  In the most recent decade funding Read More …

The Limits of Pragmatism

Edith Guffey has spent her adult life in administrative roles with large organizations.  After working for several years in student records and admissions at the University of Kansas, she found her home in the national setting of the United Church of Christ in 1991.  Guffey initially served as the denomination's secretary, which included acting as the denomination's  "chief statistician."  In 1999 she was elected Associate General Minister, tasked as the operational executive of the Office of Read More …