Contributor: Nicole Lamarche

Nicole Lamarche is a minister in the United Church of Christ, a spiritual entrepreneur, and a public faith leader. She served two churches in Massachusetts before founding an emerging church of progressive Christians, agnostics, spiritual independents and other people of conscience in San Jose, California, now called Urban Sanctuary. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Theology from the Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Achieving Failure

Lessons Learned from a Progressive Church Start-Up

With a big smile, a bit of money raised, and enough naiveté to blind me, I showed up to the office of the Conference of the Northern California Nevada United Church of Christ. It was the fall of 2010, and I had left a beautiful village church in New England to follow the call to start a new progressive church for this place and this time. There was enthusiasm... Read more

Faithful Resistance is Persistence in Love

In a season where the leadership of the United States claims to be constructing “An Entirely New Political Movement,” many have echoed what activist and filmmaker Michael Moore said after November’s election: “We are going to resist … This is going to be a massive resistance.” And in fact it has been. The Women’s March was one of the largest in history and provided... Read more

God is Not a Boy’s Name

On the evening of our first dinner church gathering, my then three-year-old daughter sat on the sidewalk in front of our banner that read, “God is not a boy’s name.” The picture struck a chord and continues to circulate on social media, in part because she is a happy, adorable little girl and also because her presence along with those words offers a bold theological... Read more

Leadership, Failure & the Cost of Spiritual Entrepreneurship

This summer I spent some time with a group of (mostly) young people involved in a virtual reality start-up. Some of them are serial innovators, having been a part of more than one successful endeavor. As a minister, spiritual entrepreneur, and organizing pastor of a new congregation, I was eager to hear their wisdom about what it takes to make seemingly wild possibilities... Read more