Blog
July 19, 2013
Why are people not attending church? We hear many explanations such as: too traditional, boring, too many other activities on Sunday and no time for church, music, nothing for the children, location, demographics. What is the real reason? Probably a combination of all of the above reasons and the state of our society. Society has changed greatly in the last 20, 30, 40 years but church, for the most part has not. Also, the family unit has changed drastically. Families do less things together and often go their separate ways. The fundamental difference though, is that traditional church has lost its importance. The church used to be the hub of the community, but no longer. It can't compete with the local mall, Rink, Cinema or sports arena. But what about the "super Churches" with their massive buildings and massive congregations, you might ask? It seems that they are doing something right, but what? Is it their creative use of technology, their evangelistic style, the charisma of their ministers, the upbeat music? Consider that some of these churches have fallen also, but why? Frequently due to some scandal or a drastic change in programing. These churches create a sense of caring in their members and encourage them to reach out to others and do so by example - they reach out to their members and offer assistance and encouragement to all. Church is open and programs are offered all week, not just on Sunday mornings. So what must the other churches do, to keep their doors open?

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September 2, 2013
The Right Rev. Gary Paterson, 41st Moderator, believes The United Church of Canada must discover once again what “being church” really means for us. What are the practices that sustain and shape our faith? How can “church” model a different kind of community, so that people want to be part of that? How do we share our faith with visitors, strangers, and the community? What is United Church evangelism?

“If we aren’t excited about our faith, then why would anyone want to ‘come and see’? How do we speak to the spiritual hunger of a younger generation, people who are more interested in following Jesus than becoming church members? How do we reshape our ‘outreach ministry’ so that people will also say, ‘See how much they love the world—I want to be part of that!’”



We invite your comments and opinions
(With permission of the United Church of Canada)
For the Moderator's complete profile visit the UCC website
November 16, 2014
Cooperative Ministry, What is it?
It Is ..
Churches sharing in "MINISTRY" (Ministry in the broad sense) to the congregations and the community. They may keep separate buildings.

Taking a broad approach to using lay ministry teams.

Making smart decisions when it comes to church buildings. knowing when it is too expensive to keep them open and emotional ties have to become memories. The Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Gary Paterson, comments: "Sometimes the closure of a church, while full of sadness, opens up new possibilities - when freed from the burden of maintaining a building, people find new energy, and realize they want, no, they need to, continue meeting as faithful Christians.")

Getting to know one another by sharing faith and vision. We are members of the United Church of Canada but are we really united? Do we really know each other?

Is cooperative ministry a valid approach? Some say it is just delaying the inevitable. It would be better to close churches and join together to become one congregation. What do you think?


November 15, 2014
What are the alternatives for churches with small congregations and dwindling finances? Are closure and/or amalgamation the only choices? Churches must take an intensive look at the community that surrounds them and not just the immediate area. Often there are several churches that serve the same area, and more than one of the same denomination. Instead of closing , what if the churches met and found ways to collaborate and cooperate to serve their congregations and communities? As the churches worked together, an understanding and perhaps a broader identity would develop that would pave the way for even more cooperation, and position them to deal with the "big picture" more objectively. This would only delay the inevitable, you might say. Maybe, you would be right, but who knows what would develop out of these churches sharing resources and working in the community. Maybe, they would be revitalized and reestablished in the community. However, if it does result in amalgamation, the relationships that have developed between the churches would make it easier for them to come together and deal with the difficult and emotional task of closing a church.
November 15, 2014
Cooperative Ministry, What is it?
It Is ..
Churches sharing in "MINISTRY" (Ministry in the broad sense) to the congregations and the community. They may keep separate buildings.

Taking a broad approach to using lay ministry teams.

Making smart decisions when it comes to church buildings. knowing when it is too expensive to keep them open and emotional ties have to become memories. The Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Gary Paterson, comments: "Sometimes the closure of a church, while full of sadness, opens up new possibilities - when freed from the burden of maintaining a building, people find new energy, and realize they want, no, they need to, continue meeting as faithful Christians.")

Getting to know one another by sharing faith and vision. We are members of the United Church of Canada but are we really united? Do we really know each other?

Is cooperative ministry a valid approach? Some say it is just delaying the inevitable. It would be better to close churches and join together to become one congregation. What do you think?