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The Shared Parish: Latinos, Anglos, and the Future of U.S. Catholicism — A Book Overview

As faith communities in the United States grow increasingly more diverse, many churches are turning to the shared parish, a single church facility shared by distinct cultural groups who retain their own worship and ministries. The fastest growing and most common of these are...
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Church Search Committees: Look Here!

Marion Aldridge at abpnews examines the issue of conflicting congregational identity in his latest commentary. He writes, Nowadays, I see a lot of confused churches. They don’t know who they are. Confused congregations often call confused pastors. That is a disaster. Or, just as...
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The Reality Behind “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Question: I hear a lot about people being “spiritual, but not religious.” What does that mean? “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious” is a common refrain in contemporary conversations.  Many people seem eager to claim a connection with...
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Congregationalism in American Churches: A Reaction by R. Stephen Warner

The focus of this site is the study of congregations, understood in the most basic sense as local religious assemblies. But concepts of “the congregation,” “congregational,” and “congregationalism” have both more precise and more contested meanings. As a form of “church polity,”...
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Framing Congregations: Redemption through a Visitor’s Lens

NPR featured a story about a Washington Post reporter who simultaneously reported on drug crimes while being addicted to heroin while living in Washington D.C. in the 1980s and 1990s. From the article: In a new book, S Street Rising, Castaneda writes that S Street was once an...
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Language, Culture, and Congregations

The Huffington Post posted an article outlining the complications historically Spanish-speaking congregations have in adapting to new English-speaking generations. For many of these second- and third-generation immigrants, their religious lives were tied to their second language,...
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St. Lydia’s Dinner Church

St. Lydia’s Dinner Church, in Brooklyn New York, is a different type of church. They gather on Sundays and Mondays to “cook and share a sacred meal, just as the followers of Jesus did.” From their website: We eat, explore scripture, offer prayers, and sing...
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Doubt in the Pulpit: How to Handle Tough Questions

New York City’s Riverside Church has a new pastor, Rev. Amy Butler, is not new to conflict and difficult discussions. From the article from the Washington Post, she is open about her struggles with faith and God, even while she has led a congregation. From the article, A...
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Case Study: St. Paul’s Congregation

The Alley News of the Phillips Neighborhood in Minneapolis recently posted an account and explanation of St. Paul Lutheran Church’s “Notes of Growth and Change.” This looks a lot like the basic facts people would want to have about their particular churches for...
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Method to Try: Congregational Timeline

From Congregational Timelines: One powerful method for better understanding the shared oral history of a congregation is through a Congregational Timeline. This historical look at the space and place of the congregation, and the congregants in the discussion, helps to locate the...
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