If you read the back of the Sunday, May 6th bulletin you'll know that the day was designated as the Sunday to celebrate rural ministries in the UCC. If you didn't have the chance to read it, here's the abridged version:
Over the course of two years, Reverend Susan Craig and Reverend Doug Dunlap traveled their state of Maine getting to know 10 churches. One of the many things the pair learned is that when people tell their stories out loud they learn about themselves in the telling. And finally, they discovered nine reasons small churches seem to thrive:
1. Small churches are particularly authentic.
2. Small churches stay connected to the community around them
3. There's always time for "prayers of the people"
4. People can build genuinely loving relationships.
5. Lay leaders are active and ready to help out.
6. Small churches give the biggest welcome.
7. People keep believing in their ministries, even with small numbers.
8. People are in touch with each other and the Holy Spirit.
9. Small churches aren't afraid to break the rules.
From UCC Sunday Bulletin Service, copyright 2018 United Church of Christ