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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 individuals than on the needs and...
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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 teaching and prayer. They go looking for...
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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 casually-dressed pastor give attenders the...
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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 their “past ubiquity”, he said. “We kind...
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Bishop Tests Congregation’s Compassion

A Mormon bishop from Salt Lake City, David Musselman, recently transformed his appearance to that of a homeless person, attempting to better understand how people of difference were treated in his congregation. The UK Telegraph reported the story in a recent article. The article...
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Worship Songs and Theology

The Baptist Standard recently wrote a short piece about the ways in which theology shapes and is shaped by music within a congregation. Terry York, professor of Christian ministry and church music at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, is quoted as saying I don’t...
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Catholic Latinos Becoming Anglican

A recent article in VirtueOnline suggests that Texas has seen a recent shift in the number of Latinos shifting from attending Catholic to Anglican mass. Throughout Anglican churches in Texas, the article suggests, one will find statues or paintings of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a...
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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...
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Multiculturalism In Congregations Is More Than Just Diversity

For many congregations, having a more racially or ethnically diverse congregation is a goal, as the communities look to expand their reach to new enclaves of potential members. Alex Murashko, of the Christian Post Reporter, discusses both the issue the role and placement of...
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Understanding “Chreasters” – Members who Attend at Christmas and Easter

The issue of how members become “Chreasters” – people who attend at Christmas and Easter – was raised by George Bullard in the American Baptist Press. The members he focuses on were once regular attenders: they were involved in Sunday School and were active in the congregation....
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