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Walking with Cameras

A variation of the walking tour is a great way to explore a congregation’s context: walking with cameras. These days most people have access to photographic equipment in the form of a mobile phone, digital camera, or disposable camera. Whatever...
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Pop-Up Shabbat: A Dinner Community Case Study

Pop-Up Shabbat  is a pop-up restaurant inspired by Jewish culture and tradition in Brooklyn, NY. Each gathering lasts 3-4 hours and includes “slightly socially engineered mingling, family-style dining, music (yes, sometimes dancing), and a bit...
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Taking the Measure of American Congregations

The most recent report from the National Congregations Study  was released in December, 2015, and it allows interested students of congregational life to learn a great deal about what is typical and what is not.  Begun in 1998, this is the third...
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Engaging Congregations with Photovoice

Photovoice (PV) is a technique that enables researchers to identify needs and stimulate social change by giving voice to groups and/or issues that may otherwise be voiceless. The acrostic V.O.I.C.E. is sometimes used to describe this research...
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Affiliation Matters

The latest Pew Religious Landscape Survey is full of interesting insights into changes occurring in American religion. As I look at these survey results, here are a few of the things I’ve noted. On most measures of religiosity (prayer,...
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How Are We Doing?

One of the reasons people get interested in learning more about a congregation is often that they want to know how they are doing. Are we healthy? Are we happy? Are we growing? And are we fulfilling our mission? Ah – now there’s a reason to take...
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The Disabled Church: Desiring Difference within Congregational Life

How does a congregation make time and space for the disabilities and differences of those who constitute it? How does it claim those differences as vital to its forms of knowing and loving God rather than disruptive to its unity? Such questions...
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When Congregation-Based Activism Is…Complicated

Though most conservative Christian organizations, denominations, and congregations have abandoned explicitly homophobic rhetoric in their arguments against gay rights in their effort to craft a politically viable position, others have increased...
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Marti’s Latest Research Explores Latino Protestant Congregations

The Latino Protestant Congregations (LPC) Project, directed by Dr. Mark Mulder and Congregational Studies Team member Dr. Gerardo Marti, is a team-based examination of Latino Protestants in the U.S. This project is a close look at a large gap in...
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