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Central Association-wide Pulpit Exchange, May 26, 2019

Dear Churches and Pastors/Preachers in the Central Association UCC:

Imagine if we all “exchanged pulpits” on one Sunday to hear new voices in our pulpits and also expose our preachers to other worship styles. Let’s have another Association-wide pulpit exchange as a sign of our unity (and diversity) in Christ. Open your congregation to hearing a new voice in your pulpit. Open our pastors to welcoming other voices in our pulpits.

Please contact Mitchell Young (mpccucc@yahoo.com or telephone (323) 893-2672) by Sunday, April 7, 2019 to let him know that you and your church want to join in the exchange.

How will the pulpit exchange work?

1. Contact Mitchell Young (mpccucc@yahoo.com or telephone (323) 893-2672). Give him your name and the name of your church along with contact information (e-mail, telephone number, address, etc.) Please contact Mitchell with this information by Sunday, April 7. (That way, we have time to publicize in our respective church newsletters.) We suggest scheduling May 26, 2019 as pulpit exchange day in your church calendars right away.

2. Once all the names of the willing and available preachers are gathered, Mitchell will bring all the names of the participating churches and preachers to the Central Association Executive Committee meeting on Monday, April 8. We will put the names of the preachers in a “hat”; the names of the churches go in another “hat.” We will pray over the names of the preachers and churches asking for God’s guidance as we let God match preachers with churches for the day in a decision-making process reminiscent of casting lots to let God choose the 12th apostle (Acts 1:15-26). We will e-mail you all again so that you will know when we will get together to “cast the lots.”

3. Once the lots are cast and preachers are matched with pulpits. (If the preacher is matched to the same pulpit as last year’s exchange, we will redraw those lots.) We will let everyone know about the matchings either by e-mail or phone calls. In the spirit of the Spirit-led matchings (and to avoid gossip of favoritism, politics, etc.) we ask that you honor your assigned pulpit and not arrange switches on your own.

4. Each preacher and assigned church will be responsible for working together to prepare the worship for that day.

5. On May 26, 2019, each participating church will receive a participating preacher from another church as a guest preacher. Note: This is a pulpit EXCHANGE; do NOT provide honorarium (money) for the guest preacher. We are all sharing freely with one another. Also, this is an exchange, not a competition: no wagering!

We hope this sounds manageable and that many of you will join in.  Looking forward to hearing from you all about joining together in a day of celebrating unity and diversity in our churches!

Q: Does my church need to have an ordained minister in order to participate?
A: No, you may send as your preacher, anyone from your congregation who is willing to preach.

Q: How much honorarium should our church provide for the preacher?
A: Please do NOT provide an honorarium since this is an exchange; support your regular preacher as usual since your preacher will be preaching at another church. However, it would be appropriate to invite your preacher to a fellowship hour or reception following your worship service or for someone in the congregation to invite the preacher out to lunch.
However, if the congregation insists on providing an honorarium as part of their tradition, the exchange preacher should graciously accept it and dispose of the honorarium as she deems appropriate.

Q: What else should we expect from our exchange preachers?
A: In addition to the preaching, here are some things to consider when planning with your guest preacher:
1. Do you want them to do a pastoral prayer or lead prayers of the people? Other prayers?
2. Do you want them to lead a children’s moment or sermon?
3. Do you want them to assist in collection of offering?
4. What kind of benediction will you choose?

Thanks for your participation in our pulpit exchange!  God bless you!


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