Anyone have a crystal ball?

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I still remember the ads by the Unitarian Service Committee from the 1960s raising funds for South Koreans when they were struggling with famine under a dictatorship.
Just to be clear, USC Canada was not actually a denominational organization like your M&S. It became independent (though supported by many Unitarians and later UUs) in 1948 when it separated from the American USC but kept the name for reasons (that I don't know). It is now called SeedChange and is focussed on food and agricultural development issues. Not sure about the status of the American USC but with UUA and CUC separating, it wouldn't be affiliated with UUs in Canada in any case.
 
become UUs because without a sense of connection with a higher power or greater purpose communities lose a reason for being and habits can fade
I seriously hope you are not suggesting that UU communities lack a reason for being. Or do the principles fit with your "greater purpose"?
 
I believe UCC congregations that lack a spiritual or faith component will either fade for lack of purpose or will realize they need a set of principles and purpose they can find in the Unitarian movement and that is where they belong. The social club UCC churches will mostly keep closing as their membership ages out of bring able to support them.
 
Good Morning (no time for spelling/grammar)
I sit on a Candidacy Board which includes two regional councils. The candidates give me hope and know that some congregations will be in good hands.
In one Regional Council, 50 churches have closed with more to come.

I suspect in the next 10 years we will have more clergy than churches.

Rural churches are suffering due to lack of interest in church and/or their current church culture. Lack of funds etc. Then again, I see city churches who have many of the same issues

Aging congregation demographics are a huge issue.

There are churches/congregations that do things well. They are in a minority.

The UCC Strategic Plan is focusing more on specialized ministries as it sees the faith base dropping.

UCC Summer Camps – no tie-in at the national/local level. 8,000 kids/youth went camping in 2022. Where is the tie-in to the local churches? On a national base – very little.
 
Tie in is a very loose sense of communication as speaking of unknowns is discouraged! Alien consideration is a phobia ...
 
Many congregations are creating various forms of cooperative ministry. I sm supervising a church which transitioned in weeks from an unwelcoming to a welcoming congregation and added 6 new members last week to a congregation with fewer than 40 members.

When a caterpillar forms a pupa, most of it essentially dies as the moth or butterfly takes shape within the pupa. This is, i realize, a poor analogy. We are in a time when what no longer serves Christ's mission in the world is passing away as new moths snd butterflies prepare to be the church in New ways. Covid focused, framed, and accelerated that process. What remains to be seen is what happens to General Council and the regional councils.

Walter Farqueson (probably wrong spelling), when he was Moderator, spoke to Saskstchewan Conference in Swift Current. The only thing I remember from that conference was his plea that the church let the Spirit be free. Over 30 years later I have seen the church loosen the bonds, but not ready yet to set the Spirit free in the church.
 
Like Lizzie Borden's burying the axis ... the shaft is beyond in the alter vector ... and few can get their ends together decently ...
 
Aging congregation demographics are a huge issue.
Yeah, I know my wife is rather dismayed when we go to a church and we, one retired and one getting close, are on the younger end of the crowd.

Rural churches are suffering due to lack of interest in church and/or their current church culture. Lack of funds etc. Then again, I see city churches who have many of the same issues
Church culture is a huge turn-off for some. Doing church in the 21st century the way churches did it in the mid-late twentieth just isn't flying anymore. Nor are half-hearted attempts at looking modern like adding a small praise band occasionally or a "contemporary" second service. Even I was experimenting a bit in my UU days, edging away from a classic "three hymns and a sermon" format at times and I am someone who still appreciates a traditional Protestant liturgy.
 
Just joking about the crystal ball!

What does the future hold for the United Church? Do you have any predictions? What are your hopes?
A lot can happen in the 17 years left

I would guess more amalgamations with other local churches

Like this Anglican church I volunteer at, they host two other church services, one a neat Hindi group and the other a group of Syrians

Or how your church got started in the first place, an amalgation of 3? different denominations


Some churches might even become planters :3
 
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Will elder wisdom be accepted to the younger know how's ... especially those that believe old stuff is meant to be denied according to portions of the script! Some does say knowledge is evil as NU's and some politicians are pushing it ... thus great omissions! At least many claim this is the dirt on the heat of the night ... anything goes in the dark!
 
I’ve always been curious how much this is…do you know?
I have been out of the church for so long that I have not seen a budget in ages. It was enough to be a problem when times were tough. I remember some debates over whether the fellowship should pay it or put the money towards local needs.
 
Our 100th anniversary is less than 18 months away. 40 years ago, many expected the UCC to not make it this far. We have not yet exchanged enough hubris for mission to have great confidence in lasting another 25 years, but it is happening. I hope the national church can find a way to be accessible to communities where congregations have left or will be leaving. I had some crazy ideas six years ago, but do not see strong signs of understanding the need for an effective online presence that provides interactive connections linked to opportunities for in person gatherings. Most of the clergy I have gotten to know are too fixated on in person worship to accept online worship and discussion groups can be usefully linked to in person sharing of fellowship in coffee shops, pubs, or forest hikes.
 
100 years of the UCCan, eh. Cool. Grandad was ordained in, I think, 1927 so one of the first classes post-union. Married Grandma that year, too, which was, of course, a rather critical event for my existence. :giggle:

And, yeah, I agree on the continued lack of online presence. Streaming services, as many have continued to do post-COVID, is not enough. It is one thing my old UU fellowship has been doing well by using Zoom rather than a simple Livestream so there can be some interactivity.
 
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