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Church Life
Activist’s acquittal unlikely to end church-directory fight at Athens courthouse
Eliot Kalman won’t be punished for pasting a First Amendment sticker over the church directory on the Athens County Courthouse (The Columbus Dispatch)
Hipster churches in Silicon Valley: evangelicalism's unlikely new home
Netflix fasts, coffee vouchers, plaid-wearing worshippers is what it takes for ‘church transplants’ to make their home in the affluent Bay Area (The Guardian)
In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions -
Western visitors used to seeing empty sanctuaries in the United States or Europe can be dumbfounded by the Sunday gatherings held in convention center-size buildings where people line up for blocks to get in – one service after another.
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)
  • 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)
  • Why the Catholic Church is Losing Latin America and What It's Doing to Get it Back
    Catholicism’s most successful strategy in its battle with Pentecostalism has been to copy it.
    Morals Clause in Catholic Schools Roils Bay Area
    The changes in the staff handbook, which say that teachers at Catholic high schools cannot challenge church teachings, including against homosexuality, have caused a backlash. (The New York Times)
    Top Catholics and evangelicals: Gay marriage worse than divorce or cohabitation
    The signers themselves do not offer a detailed plan of action to counter gay marriage, which is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, and pending in several others. Reno said the statement was not intended as a road map for political or judicial action, but more as a rallying cry to Christians and “to disabuse folks of the notion that we can just keep on keeping on as we have been.”
  • How a Bible-Belt Evangelical Church Embraced Gay Rights | TakePart
    Wigden is excited about the new church policy. He feels bad that other congregants are leaving the church over the decision after investing “their blood sweat and tears” in the congregation. But he’s also scared about the potential influx of more politically vocal LGBT congregants. “The last thing you want is for a church to do something like this and then other gay people come in being very militant about stuff and demanding things,” he says
    Do you know how many megachurches are in your state? - Vox
    The number in each square shows the absolute number of megachurches in each state — California has the most, several New England states have none — while the shades of the color show the number of megachurches in each state, per capita.
    Inch by inch, row by row, River Valley Church grows
    Between 2000 and 2010, the Assemblies of God was ranked as the fastest-growing religious group in Minnesota.
  • The Deep Racial Divide Between White and Black Evangelical Christians - The Atlantic
    Ironically, despite their shared religious worldview, there are virtually no major subgroups in the American public who disagree more than white evangelical and black Protestants do about the fairness of the criminal-justice system in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
    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)
  • 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)
Top Story March 28, 2015
The Dance of Suffering and Love
The Dance of Suffering and Love
What to do with our grief for the world.
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