This 4th of July, we are especially grateful for our independence, and those veterans and leaders who have earned it for us. Because the UCC descends from Congregationalists who risked their lives to come to America on the Mayflower in the name of religious freedom, this holiday is uniquely integral to the way we practice our faith. We wish everyone a joyous (and safe!) Independence Day, and we look forward to returning your calls and emails when we return to the office on Wednesday, July 5.

In the meantime, we would like to propose an exercise of gratitude. We invite you to consider the freedoms that make us fortunate (and that we may take for granted), and be thankful for them today.

We know this may not be so straightforward in a time when the rights of many people are being challenged. But, try to hold these two truths at once: to know we are blessed to have freedom, and to know there is still much work for us to do to ensure this same freedom for all Americans.