Monday, February 29, 2016

A Happy Ending for a Dying Church

Last year I received a telephone call from a long-time friend.  The church he'd grown up in was about to close its doors.

The church was once a strong vibrant witness in the community.  Hundreds of folks attended weekly.  Gradually, though, the community began to change.  The folks moving into the community were not like the folks in the congregation.  The church tried to reach them, but the differences were too great.  Eventually members began to move.  Attendance declined.  Those who remained realized if they didn't do something soon they would have to close the church.   They took affirmative action.

Church leaders invited a hispanic congregation to meet in their building with the hope the hispanic congregation would one day be able to take over the property.  For many reasons that never happened.

"There's only a handful of folks left.  If something doesn't happen soon," he said, "I'm afraid they'll have to close their doors for good. Any chance UBA could help?"

At the time, there wasn't, but that was about to change.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Christians and the Democratic Process

The presidential election is not until November, but aside from terrorist attacks and disruptive weather events, the election has dominated the news cycle for almost a year now.  As the primary season progresses moving toward the national conventions the political campaigns will be in the forefront of our thoughts until election day in November.

As Americans we have an opportunity not afforded many people in the world.  We have the opportunity to shape our own futures by electing men and women to public office who share our values and principles.  

As Christians, we have both the right and responsibility to be engaged in the political process.  But how?  How can we be engaged?