Topbar search

Rituals as an Indicator of Congregational Culture

One important way to examine your religious community’s culture is through its rituals. Rituals say something about who we are and what we hold dear, pointing to deeper meanings. In religious communities, these religious rituals outline how a deity is worshiped. Examine how...
Read More →

Church Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Tom Ehrich wrote a commentary at the Washington Post outlining why “church shouldn’t be this hard.” He explains, My conclusion: Religion shouldn’t be this hard. An assembly that exists to help people shouldn’t be so willing to hurt people — by declaring them...
Read More →

New Sub-type of Catholicism: Charismatic Catholics

National Public Radio’s Code Switch examined the role of Charismatic Catholicism in Latino communities. A number of differences are obvious to attenders of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx — the service is led by a woman, people are swaying and putting up...
Read More →

Whitebread Protestants – Social Food to Create Community

Chapter 2 of Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture by Daniel Sack focuses on food as a central mode of community organizing within America’s churches. He argues that “Americans go to church for more than teaching and prayer. They go looking for...
Read More →

Predictions for American Churches in 2014

Two recent posts (first, second) from The Christian Post outlines 14 Predictions for American Churches in 2014. In short, these predictions are: 1. Increased church acquisitions. 2. Downsizing of denominational structures. 3. Decline in conversion growth. 4. More megachurches. 5....
Read More →

Growing Churches: Religious Vitality in Canada

A recent National Post article examines Protestant mega-congregations in Canada. Broadway Church, in Vancouver Canada, shuffles 2,000 congregants through churches on a given Sunday. The large, auditorium-esq sanctuary, modern music, and casually-dressed pastor give attenders the...
Read More →

Shrinking Churches: Attendance Declines in Canada

A recent article in the Calgary Herald outlines the attendance declines in Mainline congregations in Canada. Victor Kim, the lead minister at Grace Presbyterian Church, put it this way: Mainline Protestant churches had to stop clinging to their “past ubiquity”, he said. “We kind...
Read More →

Disability in the Pews: What Does Your Community Do?

Harretz.com reports a new initiative to focus on making synagogues accessible to those with disabilities. Jay Ruderman, a philanthropist, took the stage at the URJ Biennial plenary session, asking the audience if they or someone they knew were disabled in some way. Almost...
Read More →

The Power and Superiority of “Black Worship”

In Gerardo Marti’s book, Worship Across the Racial Divide, he discusses the life and vitality of a multiethnic congregation. One of his early findings is that many members of the congregation, particularly those who are not Black, assume that “black worship” is...
Read More →

Bishop Tests Congregation’s Compassion

A Mormon bishop from Salt Lake City, David Musselman, recently transformed his appearance to that of a homeless person, attempting to better understand how people of difference were treated in his congregation. The UK Telegraph reported the story in a recent article. The article...
Read More →