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Before the Disaster Strikes

As disasters strike – all too often, it seems – we often see churches, synagogues and mosques in the news. They may be shelters or food distribution centers or coordinators of volunteers or places to comfort and grieve. As the most ubiquitous form of voluntary organization in the...
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Questioning Common Knowledge: Using Research to Strategize

Rachel Held Evans wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post this week about millennials and the church. She argues that millennials don’t really want auditoriums, big screens, contemporary music, and big marketing campaigns. Millennials actually want an authentic worship...
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Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, 1923-2015

Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, a popular pastor and church consultant who gave practical advice on how congregations can grow and thrive, has died at the age of 91. From the New York Times obituary, Armed with research and anecdotal evidence, Mr. Schaller offered churches advice on...
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Catholicism in the Castro: Parish Life in Context

The National Catholic Reporter published a five-part series on San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer Church, focusing on its open and inclusive relationship with the community. Up to eighty percent of its population is LGBT. Most Holy Redeemer draws broadly from across the San...
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#Ashtag and Sharing Religion on Social Networks

Look at all these priests sharing #ashtag selfies today http://t.co/BHXVI0H5qH pic.twitter.com/fX1USKhs39 — Mashable (@mashable) February 18, 2015 Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Christian period of Lent. Christians often receive a sign of the cross in ashes on their...
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Pay What You Want: An Examination of Dues

The New York Times posted an article about the changing sources of income for some synagogues. Rather than requiring membership dues based on family size, age, or income, some synagogues are now asking people to voluntarily pledge money to the congregation. How congregations...
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Membership Decline: Facing the Real Issue

Christianity Today is highlighting the plight of rural vicars in congregations in England. Churches are declining, and vicars are filling multiple pulpits. The article goes on to explain in detail implications of declining congregations — pastors are pulled thin between...
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The Building as an Asset: Thinking Differently about Congregational Programs

The Christian Century recently posted an article about thinking about a congregation’s building as an asset. From the article: What we’ve discovered—and it has been a learning curve for us, as well as for the congregations we’ve served—is that buildings and grounds can be...
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Female Catholic Priests: Muddied Organizational Waters

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Georgia Walker — a woman — became a Roman Catholic priest last Saturday. The stories of women becoming ordained within the Roman Catholic church circulate every few years. These services take place outside of Catholic churches,...
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A New Statue to Symbolize a Common Culture

Merging congregations involves combining each groups sets of congregational identities, histories, narratives, and symbols. A recent article from The Greenfield Massachusetts Recorder examines one way a recently-merged Catholic congregation attempted to create a shared identity....
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