Category Archives: Maine Cautionary Tales

The “D” Word

In those moments when I allow myself to consider my most worrying concerns about the present and the future of the church, I often think about one particular couple I know. Whenever I think of this couple, I cannot escape … Continue reading

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Change

The Maine Conference United Church of Christ is holding their annual meeting this weekend in Farmington. The big word of the meeting is “change,” with the overall theme hovering (literally) over the stage: “Moving Forward in the Midst of Change.” … Continue reading

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Embracing Our Identity and Status

Last year, my husband, son and I attended the bar mitzvah of one of my son’s closest friends, Gabe. Gabe had clearly worked hard to reach this point in his life and to accept the new responsibilities that were conferred … Continue reading

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Cautionary Tale #2: The Gardiner Congregational Church, UCC

The story of the Gardiner Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Gardiner, Maine, offers an important view into some of the very challenging issues facing many mainline churches, especially those churches located in places like central Maine. The Gardiner Congregational … Continue reading

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Searching for Hope

Last Friday, I officiated at one of the largest memorial services that we’ve had at Old South during my tenure.  The sanctuary was packed with people—every pew space was taken and people lined the walls on the sides and along … Continue reading

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What If We Build It and They Still Don’t Come?

In Central Maine, churches face a very difficult reality.  A Central Maine mainline church may have great programming, a wonderful minister, meaningful worship, an enthusiastic Christian Education program, a heavenly choir, and a friendly, welcoming and open congregation.  And, yet, … Continue reading

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The Future of the Mainline Church in Maine: Cautionary Tale #1

Review the placement openings for the United Church of Christ, and one finds many references to the word “grow” or “growth”—like, “Come Grow With Us!”  For many churches, growth is, and has been, a word of profound purpose.  Most churches … Continue reading

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Life Among the “Nones”

“As Maine goes, so goes the nation” was once a notion that held some weight in presidential election cycles, as Maine found itself to be a bellwether for the general sentiments of the nation as a whole.  While the phrase … Continue reading

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