Overview

BCCUCC is excited to embark on a church revitalization program in conjunction with the Center for Progressive Renewal. This process began in September, 2017, and will continue for approximately 18 months. It consists of two separate phases, an assessment phase and an implementation phase, which are described in more detail below.

Now some will ask, “Aren’t we vital already?A New Thing We’re doing lots of great stuff!” Absolutely! We are. However, we cannot ignore that churches across our country are struggling and closing at an unprecedented rate. We are not immune to the changes happening in the culture around us. If we want to remain vital to our community (God’s community) then we need to continually be proactive in understanding what God calls us to in every day and age.

Our Renewal Team

  • Larry Ashley
  • Tom Colby
  • Erik Ela
  • Marion Fodor
  • Helen Schall
  • Heather Williamson
  • Rev. Dale Azevedo

Feel free to contact any members of the Renewal Team with questions you may have. We are here to help this process move smoothly.

Our Consultants

Our first consultant is Dr. William “Bill” McKinney. Bill is the formerMcKinney President and Professor of American Religion at Pacific School of Religion(PSR) in Berkeley, California, the oldest theological seminary in the American West. Bill McKinney is a sociologist of religion by training and also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ(UCC). His research interests include Protestant congregational dynamics, and the recent history and prospects for Mainline Protestant denominations. At PSR from July 1986 to June 2010, Bill McKinney was previously Dean of Hartford Seminary. His focus areas are strategic planning, endowment strategies, leadership and systems dynamics, governance, and community trends and demographics.

Phase 1

Phase 1 lasts about 3 months. It began with our consultant visiting BCCUCC for a long weekend (Sept. 28 – Oct 1). During that weekend, Bill met with the Renewal Team, community leaders, the church staff, most importantly the members of our congregation. Bill conducted a series of listening sessions where he will learned about who we are, what our community is like, the challenges we face, and what our hopes and dreams are for the future. Through these sessions, Bill met with over 90 members of our church and leaders in the community. We thank everyone who participated in this phase as it was essential that Bill get to know you, because you are the church!

Currently, Bill is taking a few weeks to work up his report for us. Looking at the information he gathered from us along with demographic data, Bill will share his findings and recommendations with our Renewal Team. After they receive the report, Bill and the Renewal Team will present it to the Church Council and eventually share it with the entire congregation. We will have the opportunity to receive the report and choose which recommendations to prioritize and follow up with. Following up on the recommendations will constitute Phase 2.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is where we follow up on the recommendations presented in Phase 1. We will work with a second consultant (still TBD) during this phase, which will last approximately 12 months. This second consultant will work as a “coach” and meet regularly with the Church Council, the Ministers, and other church leaders (dependent upon the recommendations accepted). The coach’s job is to guide us through implementing any changes or programs the congregation chooses to undertake.

Your Participation

We really hope that you will choose to participate fully in the Church Renewal Process. The members and friends of BCCUCC are the lifeblood of our ministry. It is through you, your faith, and your response to God’s call in your life, that we exist. God has been working through us for over 300 years and we pray that God will continue to do so for 300 more and beyond.