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The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work and Religion among American Catholics

My recent book The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work and Religion among American Catholics, was the product of a comparative ethnographic project which began with the simple question:  Why are contemporary conflicts about the family—such as...
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Difficulties of Diversity – Why So Few Congregations are Racially Integrated

Question: Why are so few congregations racially integrated? Racial diversity in congregations is a popular topic among religious leaders and researchers of religion. Despite a desire for diversity, multiracial congregations are difficult to...
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What do we know about congregational size?

Question: What do we know about congregational size? In the United States, most congregations are smaller than 100 people, but most people attend congregations that are large. This points to the fact that many people attend...
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Space Tour: Queen of Heaven Parish

Pilar spoke to us in a rapid clip as she gave us a parish campus tour at Queen of Heaven parish in Southern California (all names here are pseudonyms).  As graduate assistant Liz Castro and I walked with her alongside the parish school, we...
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Changing the Way “Things are Done”: Process Review

The Process Frame is the frame that helps us consider the way things get done within a local congregation. From the page about the process frame, “by examining the processes of a local congregation, you can examine the ways in which a...
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Steve Warner: By The Numbers

Question: What can survey research tell us about churn attendance? Social scientists have been tracking self-reported religious service attendance for over seventy years. At present, over 40% of adult Americans claim to attend church (or other...
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Mission Orientation: Case Study

The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted an article about the 50th anniversary of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church moving to a new church building. Using this article as a case study of the Mission Orientation post from Wednesday, we can uncover much...
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How is your congregation oriented to the community?: Mission Orientation

There are four basic ways of relating the congregation to its community, according to a study of congregations in Hartford, Connecticut (Roozen, McKinney and Carroll, 1994).  These orientations align closely with theology, but vary slightly....
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Why would anyone attend a Megachurch?

Question:  Why would anyone attend a Megachurch? It just seems to be about hype and money and the pastor promoting himself. That’s not what church should be about. I never expected to become an apologist for the Megachurch when I began my...
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