Scripture tells us that God has a simple request of humanity: "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NRSV)." Glenn Beck doesn't like that kind of talk.
I'll devote more and more of this site - www.chuckcurrie.com- to issues impacting Oregon (with a continued focus on our state's religious communities) but will from time to time cross post information from the United Church News Blog, and to write about political matters that are not appropriate for an official church site.
This month a new poll of mainline clergy was released. Public Religion Research looked at social, theological and political opinions of clergy in the United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
United Church of Christ clergy stood apart from their colleagues as generally more progressive. For example, on average 70% of mainline clergy believe the government should play a more active role in solving social problems. 90% of UCC clergy support more active government intervention in social issues. However, there is diversity in the mainline tradition (even within the UCC) even as opinions trend progressive.
The relationship between science and faith has sometimes been a challenging one. Historically this has led to difficult moments of social division.
Today the United Church of Christ has launched an effort to heal that divide through a Pastoral Letter, advertising campaign and new web site designed to bring together those who find truth both in faith and science.
Hugo Chávez may be many things but he is not to be confused with the Prince of Peace. Chávez might incorporate some of Jesus' language but he does not follow his teachings. Just take a look at his record on human rights. He might rail against George W. Bush but these two men are made from the same stuff.
I have a post up on the United Church News Blog with information on the relief efforts now under way by U.S. denominations in Calf. as the fires grow. Also included in the post is a status report on UCC congregations.
This fall here at Parkrose Community United Church of Christ we’re using the “Saving Jesus” curriculum for our fall adult education class. We’re fortunate that members from two other area UCC congregations are joining us each week. Together we enjoy a meal (potluck, of course) and then spend two hours talking theology. Tonight we talked about issues surrounding the incarnation and explored the meaning of transcendence.
UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary is offering a course this fall called “Public Theology.” The Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, president of the seminary and professor of this class, says that the learning goals include being able to “accurately identify theological issues in public discourse” to be able to discuss those issues through the use of traditional media and new media (the internet and blogs).
In fact, one of the assignments is for each student to publish a blog. Less than one month into the class many of the students have already gone online.
You might have noticed that over the last week or so I’ve been pointing readers of my blog to a new address when talking about the United Church of Christ or ecumenical issues. Here is the reason why:
Republished from United Church News
Written by staff reports September 26, 2007
United Church News has launched a new interactive blog to lift up news about local churches and invite conversation about justice issues.
The Rev. Chuck Currie, a veteran blogger and pastor of Parkrose Community UCC in Portland, Ore., will oversee development of United Church News' blog in order to amplify secular news about UCC congregations as well as issues of concern to church members.
"For many in the UCC, the name 'Chuck Currie' was one of the first progressive voices of faith they encountered in the blogosphere," said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, editor of United Church News and the UCC's acting communications director. "It's long overdue that we offer this type of give-and-take conversation. The frank, first-person approach will be new to some, but it's just the kind of accessible information-sharing that the internet affords us."
Currie was recognized by The Los Angeles Times in 2004 for "top-tier" editorial writing. A 2006 graduate of UCC-related Eden Theological Seminary near St. Louis, he is considered a pioneer in faith-based blogging, having written one of the first UCC-related blogs on the internet.
"Hopefully, the blog will be a little like a virtual 'water cooler' where people gather to hear the latest information and commentary about the United Church of Christ," Currie told United Church News. "The site will not only highlight news about local churches but also about the ecumenical movement and the important social justice causes our denomination is involved with."
By virtue of the medium, blogs are not intended to be one-sided commentary, but interactive conversations. While United Church News will continue to offer its scrolling denominational news headlines at the UCC's homepage, the blog will give greater attention to local churches in the news and encourage reader conversation on media-related topics. A link to the blog can be found easily at ucc.org/news or accessed directly at unitedchurchofchrist.blogspot.com.
"Very few denominations have blogs," Currie said. "So the UCC will be in a unique position of offering an on-line forum where the big issues of the day facing our churches can be discussed."
Currie said the best feedback he's ever gotten, in response to his blogging, has been when people have asked for help finding a local UCC church where they can worship.
"This new blog is an adventure in evangelism," Currie said. "With it we can reach out to people, many of whom have not yet found a church home."
An outspoken advocate for the homeless since 1986, Currie served on the board of the National Coalition for the Homeless from 1998 to 2002. In 2003, UCC-supported Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon awarded Currie its Vollum Ecumenical Humanitarian Award.
He is married to Liz Smith Currie. They have twin daugthers, Katherine and Frances.
What will happen to this site? You can still visit here. I'll link to stories on the United Church News Blog and also post Oregon-related and personal content here for those interested.
My new blogging adventure at news.ucc.org/blog came to a screeching halt this morning when the blog crashed after a system upgrade yesterday. The tech guru at UCC HQ in Cleveland assures me that this really is just some computer software problem and not divine intervention. Once we get things moving along again I’ll post a note here. Stay tuned.
Views expressed here represent the perspectives of Rev. Currie, as well as reader participants, and may not represent the views of the United Church of Christ’s national offices in Cleveland or any local UCC congregation. External links made from this site should not construe an endorsement. Rev. Currie has no more editorial control over such content than does a public library, bookstore, or newsstand. Such external links are made for informational purposes only.