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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...
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Toys are not Guns: Changing the Way our Children Play

In February 2013, our congregation had a month long celebration of Black History Month activities.  From film viewings to forums, the Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church of St. Louis, MO, had an array of opportunities to learn about historical...
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Building Strong Church Communities: A Sociological Perspective

At their deepest level, human beings are social creatures, in the image, Christians would say, of the Trinity itself.  But the individualistic bent of modern American society has led writers to focus more on the spiritual needs and growth of...
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 the...
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