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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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Using Ritual to Assist in Change

An article from the York, Pennsylvania Dispatch outlined how two churches used ceremony and ritual to merge. Trinity and Fourth United Methodist churches were set to merge, but instead of a more traditional merging ceremony, the planners opted to bring in a particular ritual...
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One Building, Two Rabbis, Alternating Services

The New Jersey Jewish News reports two interdenominational congregations are sharing one building. The two congregations will hold separate services, alternating Friday night services. They have chosen to blend organizational and administrative styles during worship. Beth Shalom...
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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...
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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...
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Environmentalism and the Black Church: New Frontiers

A recent article from the Religion News Network highlights Trinity United Church of Christ, a Black congregation in Chicago, that focuses much of its energy on the environment, and much of its congregational cultural focus surrounds issues of the environment. The article reads,...
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Church Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Tom Ehrich wrote a commentary at the Washington Post outlining why “church shouldn’t be this hard.” He explains, My conclusion: Religion shouldn’t be this hard. An assembly that exists to help people shouldn’t be so willing to hurt people — by declaring them...
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New Sub-type of Catholicism: Charismatic Catholics

National Public Radio’s Code Switch examined the role of Charismatic Catholicism in Latino communities. A number of differences are obvious to attenders of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx — the service is led by a woman, people are swaying and putting up...
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Predictions for American Churches in 2014

Two recent posts (first, second) from The Christian Post outlines 14 Predictions for American Churches in 2014. In short, these predictions are: 1. Increased church acquisitions. 2. Downsizing of denominational structures. 3. Decline in conversion growth. 4. More megachurches. 5....
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