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The Building as an Asset: Thinking Differently about Congregational Programs

The Christian Century recently posted an article about thinking about a congregation’s building as an asset. From the article: What we’ve discovered—and it has been a learning curve for us, as well as for the congregations we’ve served—is that buildings and grounds can be...
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Chuck Knows Church: The Committee

Chuck Knows Church, a product of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, is launching a new series of web episodes looking at declining and closing congregations called “The Committee.” The pilot came out today, and the first episodes of the committee...
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Female Catholic Priests: Muddied Organizational Waters

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Georgia Walker — a woman — became a Roman Catholic priest last Saturday. The stories of women becoming ordained within the Roman Catholic church circulate every few years. These services take place outside of Catholic churches,...
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Congregational Websites: An Issue of Size

Kelsey Dallas from the Deseret News wrote an article outlining the relationship between congregational size and the presence of a website. Using data from the National Congregations Study, she shows that smaller congregations often struggle with the cost of creation and...
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Friday Break: SNL’s St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular

  Saturday Night Live last weekend included “St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular,” a satirical promotional video of church life around Christmas. What I find most interesting about this is the comments — a vast majority of comments are...
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Death in Declining Congregations: A Case Study

More and more congregations within the United States are declining, and with that decline come church closures. In my dissertation research, I examined two small congregations. Fellowship United Methodist Church (which is a pseudonym, along with all other names used in this post)...
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A New Statue to Symbolize a Common Culture

Merging congregations involves combining each groups sets of congregational identities, histories, narratives, and symbols. A recent article from The Greenfield Massachusetts Recorder examines one way a recently-merged Catholic congregation attempted to create a shared identity....
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How Does a Pastor Work: A New Podcast from Slate

Check out the new podcast from Slate, called “Working.” One of their first podcasts interviewed Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Washington D.C. They ask the question: How does a pastor work? The podcast includes tidbits such as how the...
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Fundraising Training in Seminary: Practical Realities

Boston University School of Theology (which, for full disclosure, is a sponsor of this site) has recently instituted finance courses for seminary students. As the article from BU Today explains: Starting this fall, the course, STEWARD—short for Stewardship Thinking, Economic...
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Eyeing the Budget: Content Analysis of Priorities

When you’re having a problem within your congregation, you should 1) figure out a research question, 2) then determine the best way to examine the question using a variety of research tools, and 3) examine the data from a variety of perspectives or frames. We talk a lot...
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