Changes in the Mass: Institutions and Church Cultures

When the Vatican announced changes to the way individuals should express signs of peace during mass, an article from the Religious News Service reported: In an effort to insure a more sober ritual, the Vatican has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of…

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 something they can call “spiritual,” but wary of the beliefs, traditions, and communities they think of as…

Congregational Profile: LifeGARDEN

LifeGARDEN, a mission of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN, is a labor of love of member and Associate in Ministry – Director of Worship, Alice Woodard. She explains, I first started thinking about the possibility of a community garden while attending a worship conference at St. Olaf in 2005 called “For…

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 together. Tied to the Lutheran and Episcopal traditions, our worship…

Vision in Ministry: Developing a Vision Statement

Vision statements are organized statements outlining an organization’s vision for itself. Many organizations (both secular and religious) prominently display vision statements, so many congregations feel they must too. Developing these vision statements can become empty rituals, resulting in a paragraph that is printed on a poster in the pastor’s office but that doesn’t actual enter…