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Flourishing Congregations: Not All Are As They Appear

Amidst the endless stream of research studies, news stories, and anecdotes that rightly report on religious decline across denominations and congregations, where are the signs of congregational life and vitality, and what can we learn from such settings? These are anchoring...
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What’s your ‘Sung’ Theology?

Here’s a research project for anyone curious about the theology that is being preached when the preacher isn’t in the pulpit. Go back through the orders of service for the last year and see what was being sung. What sorts of pictures of God were in those songs? What sorts of...
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Thinking about How We Gather

In recent years, many people have wondered whether new forms of religious gathering might be replacing traditional gatherings like congregations. As the nonaffiliates – better known as “nones” – become an increasing share of the U.S. population, there is every reason to suggest...
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Why is Church so Hard for Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

“Church should not be another place of struggle. Like school can be a struggle, or going to the store can be a struggle, or getting along with your family can be a struggle, but church should not be a place where you struggle. I think the vast majority of people whose kids are on...
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We Will Feast – Studying New Ways of Congregating

I attended my first dinner-church service on a warm Thursday evening in the summer of 2015. As part of my coursework in Food Studies, I’d just completed a semester-long project on the formation of relationships over a meal – what anthropologists call “commensality.” The...
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