Topbar search

The Particular Roles of Interim Pastors

The Billings Gazette featured an article discussing interim pastors and the particular roles they play. The article begins: Billings pastors Tom Hall, Joel Westby and Aline Russell enjoy getting together once a month to chat. None of the three recent acquaintances will be in town...
Read More →

Engaged Scholar Ria Van Ryn: Interfaith Experiences, Individual Growth

The blog post below is written by current Congregational Studies’ Team Engaged Scholar Ria Van Ryn for her college newspaper. ——————————— In a recent article in the Observer Rachel Renz defends her decisions...
Read More →

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 abortion, women’s social roles, same-sex...
Read More →

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 learned that her children had attended...
Read More →

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 about this church’s...
Read More →

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 and current issues that are...
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 →

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 →

How to Kill a Church

Zachary Bailes at ABPNews Blog outlines a story of Noah Vale, a minister who, after a careful study of a declining congregation, developed a tongue-in-cheek checklist of how to kill a church. He writes, Assume that people are looking for a church based purely on location. Don’t...
Read More →