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Every denomination needs one of these...

Another historic UCC church considers leaving

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chalk this one up to Massachusetts Conference Minister Jim Antal. From The Patriot Ledger:

MARSHFIELD - A speech by a visiting clergyman has prompted a bid by members of the First Congregational Church of Marshfield to formally break ties with the national United Church of Christ.

The minister of the 375-year-old Green Harbor church said some members of the congregation found a church official’s Nov. 4 sermon on global warming and other hot-button issues more political than spiritual, prompting a proposal to disaffiliate from the denomination.

Church members will meet Sunday at 11 a.m. to discuss and possibly vote on whether to sever ties with the United Church of Christ, the Rev. Jim Howard said.

The Rev. Howard said some of the 200 members of his congregation have taken issue with some the United Church of Christ’s viewpoints during his nearly three years in Marshfield.

But he said Sunday’s meeting is prompted by a Nov. 4 sermon by the president of the denomination’s Massachusetts Conference, the Rev. Jim Antal, at the church’s 375th anniversary celebration.

Among other topics, the Rev. Howard said, the Rev. Antal spoke of ‘‘stewardship of the Earth and his passion and concern for dealing with global warming.’’

‘‘A number of people in the congregation felt that that was inappropriate for our anniversary Sunday,’’ the Rev. Howard said. ‘‘That it was a political topic where there should’ve been a spiritual focus.’’

The Rev. Antal could not be reached Friday for comment.
I think it's interesting that a Conference Minister's sermon is the tipping point for this congregation... and probably an indication that Antal either didn't know their sensitivity to political messages from the pulpit or he didn't care. I couldn't find a copy of Antal's sermon on the internet so it wouldn't be fair to comment on it, but I have heard other sermons that attempt to link Biblical principles to stewardship of our environment. I guess it comes down to interpreting motivation - whether the issue is abortion or global warming, there's a difference between a sermon motivated by politics and one motivated by the spirit. Still, of all the junk that comes out of the UCC national and conference offices, a drive-by sermon from a Conference Minister seems pretty trivial to me.
posted by UCCtruths, Saturday, January 05, 2008


If commenting on the environment is political and not spiritual, the first person to criticize would be whoever wrote the verse in Genesis that says that people have been given dominion over the earth.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:28 AM  
When an organization such as the UCC moves so far to the left any minor issue will be enough to be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Our denomination has chosen to take the wide road that leads to destruction. The wolves have infiltrated and divided the flock. It is time to stand firm against the schemes of the devil and his workers.

I pray that the Marshfield church remains in the denomination and fight for renewal.
commented by Anonymous omd, 12:15 AM  
"Our denomination has chosen to take the wide road that leads to destruction. The wolves have infiltrated and divided the flock."

Our denomination is living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm sorry if this offends you. But I agree about the "wolves". We must be ever on guard against Satan's machinations whether it be greed, pride, the IRD, or "conservative" politics.
commented by Blogger David, 5:49 PM  
this is happening all over the UCC

commented by Blogger Paul Jamieson, 11:53 PM  
That's very true, Paul. I, along with much of the UCC, would rather give up churches than compromise the Gospel of Christ.
commented by Blogger David, 1:11 PM  
Let me ask you, David. Do you believe that the Bible is the inerrant and fully revealed word of God?

I ask because, in my travels I have come to understand that many have different ideas about the Gospel of Christ, as you put it.
commented by Anonymous omd, 4:22 PM  

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