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WORLD | Two cultures, one church
When Price first started thinking about making the two churches one, he looked around for models he could follow. He couldn’t find any.
Motherlode - Adventures in Parenting SEARCH Church on Sunday: Because Spiritual Education Takes More Than Good Intentions - The New York Times
But without something external putting spirituality in front of us weekly, I worry that my intention of sharing my spirituality with my children may go unfulfilled. Opportunities for spiritual connection can so easily go away. And just like parents cannot home-school their child on subjects like math, science and grammar without actually teaching math, science and grammar, I’m not sure a parent can raise a child to be spiritual without actually teaching them how to do so. It takes more than just good intentions; it takes an intentional effort to be spiritual and then letting our children bear witness to our own spirituality.
At Forlorn Urban Churches, Mass Gets Crowded in a Flash
The latest trend in Rust Belt Catholicism, the Mass mob, is bringing thousands of suburban Catholics to visit the struggling urban churches of their parents and grandparents. (The New York Times)
Interactive Chart of Decades-old Usher Hand Signals
Church ushers still use the "National Silent Uniform System", developed in the 1940s, to communicate with each other during church services. (NYT)
Church ushers use hand signal codes
Ushers use hand signals that were developed in the 1940s and are still used and taught at a convention.
Christian Post interviews Elevation Church about spontaneous baptisms
"So when we do them (baptisms), the tanks are all outside, the changing areas are all outside, we rent huge tents, people don't know where to go so we've gotta have volunteers to lead the way so that people know which direction to go." (Christian Post)
Church 'is on the brink of extinction': Ex-Archbishop George Carey warns of Christianity crisis
Former head of Church of England warns it could be just one generation away from extinction (The Daily Mail)
NYT talks to Sarah Young
Sarah Young defends her books using Jesus in the first person.
Churches Take a Stand on Pews, Replacing Them With Chairs
Congregations see shift as versatile, modern; Asking unchurched youths to have a seat (The Wall Street Journal)
New trend: pastors working for free
Some see unpaid pastors as the future of the church.
  • How a Megachurch Melts Down - The Atlantic
    Churches who belong to established denominations have established institutional methods for excising troubled leaders, and for surviving once they are gone. “Nondenominational” organizations like Mars Hill, built on faith and charisma alone, will always be vulnerable to the fate of losing the popularity contest.
    Race, relevancy among challenges facing black Baptist leaders
    Recent shootings of black men present challenges to new leaders of four of the nation’s largest African-American Baptist denominations, which observers say must become champions for racial reforms in America.
    How Church Sales Reflect the Shifting American Demographic
    Beyond the Christian faith, immigration is shaping the religious landscape of America and influencing the church purchasing process. (The Atlantic)
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  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan cuts ties with anti-abortion crusader Frank Pavone
    “My requests of Father Pavone were clear and simple: one, that Priests for Life undergo a forensic audit; two, that a new, independent board be established to provide oversight and accountability,” Dolan wrote. "Although Father Pavone initially assured me of his support, he did not cooperate. Frequent requests that he do so went unheeded. I finally asked him to comply by October 1st. He did not."
    Pope seeks meeting with Russian Orthodox leader - Yahoo News
    Francis said that Catholics and Orthodox are on a path toward unity that must be traveled. "We're on this path, but we must wait until the theologians agree among themselves. We'll never get to that day, I assure you. I am skeptical."
    Chinese Catholic Church Flourishing
    There were no churches being torn down in the North China provinces I visited, but there were certainly churches being built. The thousands of churches that were torn down or confiscated on Party orders during the fifties and sixties have nearly all been rebuilt or refurbished, often with foreign donations. This includes the parish church at Dongergou in Shanxi province that I visited, where Masses have been held continuously for more than 220 years.
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  • How a Megachurch Melts Down - The Atlantic
    Churches who belong to established denominations have established institutional methods for excising troubled leaders, and for surviving once they are gone. “Nondenominational” organizations like Mars Hill, built on faith and charisma alone, will always be vulnerable to the fate of losing the popularity contest.
    Foreclosure case filed against Family Christian Center pastor
    Only a few months after reports that Indiana's largest megachurch was digging itself out of a financial hole, Family Christian Church Senior Pastor Steve Munsey and his wife face a foreclosure action against the home they've attempted to sell...Last year, a Times investigation revealed Family Christian Center had been spending millions annually on leadership compensation, travel, meals, and jet fuel, yet fell behind on mortgage payments and racked up a list of past-due bills.
    Lawsuit filed in family battle over Orange County megachurch | abc7.com
    The family of Pastor Chuck Smith is embroiled in a legal battle over control his Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa megachurch. His daughter has filed suit alleging elder abuse and neglect when Smith died.
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  • Conservative reach
    Conservative Anabaptists from across North America gathered for the first time at a ministry conference a month ago in a meeting seen by some as an indication of growing unity. (MWR)
    UMC launches new ecumenical, interfaith office
    On any given Sunday, more Christians are attending worship services in China than in the United States or Europe. That is one indicator of the challenges presented by a changing world of ecumenism as the United Methodist Church reorganizes how it addresses issues of Christian unity and relationships with other faiths. (UM Reporter)
    Brutal Presbyterian Disunity
    Anglicans get plenty of well-deserved attention for their efforts at disunity, but Presbyterians at least deserve an honorary mention in this game.
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  • When pulpit and pew disagree
    What can Christian leaders do when the official teachings of mainline Protestant churches and the political ideologies of the laity diverge? (Elesha Coffman, Faith and Leadership)
    How Clergy In Ferguson Succeeded Where The Police Failed
    To some extent, the police and the clergy at the protests have an overlapping mission: to keep the gathering peaceful. For clergy, that has meant speaking with protesters who become agitated until they calm down. It has meant acting as intermediaries between the crowds and police. At times, it has meant doing crowd control and helping keep people within designated areas.
    Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy
    As full-time pastors become a thing of the past, more and more seminary grads are taking on secular jobs to supplement their incomes. (The Atlantic)
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What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
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