NewsRemove the Pews book cover

You are invited to an “I wonder about how CUCC might better use our sacred spaces” book conversation.  No, CUCC is not planning any big changes.  Instead, this is an opportunity to explore ideas, talk about what is important to each of us, and enjoy good company.

The plan is to read the book on our own, then gather for a one-time conversation.  During the next month, read Rev. Donna Schaper’s “Remove the Pews:  Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces.”   Then on May 14, 4-5PM, we will meet at CUCC in our sanctuary to imagine together.  Contact Jane Smith if you plan to participate  If you’d like to discuss the book in an online group, contact Jane; if five people are interested, Jane will schedule an online group.

Rev. Schaper is the retired pastor of Judson Memorial Church, the NYC home church for CUCCer Edith Sylla.  Edith would tell us interesting projects and ways of doing things that she discovered at Judson.  Having a CUCC connection makes the book even more attractive.  You can find an excerpt from the first chapter at this link. Quail Ridge Books describes the book this way:

“When I saw the title, I wanted to shout from the rooftop: It’s time Donna Schaper makes a compelling case for clearing space, both architecturally and in our ministry journeys. This little book is a gift to a tired and caged-in church “–Paul Nixon, author of Multi and I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church

Pastor Donna Schaper takes the long view of religious institutions in an age of rapid change. The question of who the Church is today–and how it employs its buildings–is connected to the Church’s past identities and future hopes. Remove the Pews offers concrete suggestions on how congregations can open their church spaces to revive their spirits.

From welcoming local dance troupes to serving undocumented persons, Schaper demonstrates how the imagination is the only limit to what church buildings mean and can do. Her meditations on community use of sacred spaces serve as a springboard for a broader examination of how the church might be renewed for the modern age. The pews are only the beginning