Spatial Transcendence: When Congregational Experiences Leave the Sanctuary

What happens when religion leaves the congregation? From coffee shops to living rooms, people engage with religious texts, sermons, and traditions wherever they can access them. Religion cannot be confined to a physical space. Nor are religious practices confined to those who identify as religious. Many people identify as disaffiliated from a religious tradition, ‘spiritual…

COVID-19 and the Changing Meaning of Attendance

How many people attended religious services last week? That used to be a relatively simple question, but COVID-19 has turned that on its head. And the safety decisions that leaders made not only had an immediate impact on congregational attendance but are likely to affect the future. Overall Religious Attendance Declining Religious service attendance in…

Finding God in a Pandemic and Beyond:
Online and Ordinary Sacred Places

Where does one go to find God? Quite commonly, a place of worship. Even people who aren’t sure if God exists seek divine help in churches and mosques and cathedrals because such religious buildings are understood as sacred spaces. If God does exist, surely God will be found in these holy places. 

This understanding of sacred space poses a problem in a global pandemic, however. Where does one go to find God when those religious buildings are closed? And beyond the pandemic, it challenges communities of faith to think in new ways.

Producing Religion Online

The emergence of nondenominational media productions online points to the importance of expanding your sense of what constitutes your congregation’s ecology. It also challenges congregational leaders to think about the culture of their congregation. These are new communities longing for connection, who don’t fit existing patterns of gathering. What might these two innovations tell you?…