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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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Where are the Children with Chronic Health Conditions and their Families?

Most congregations pride themselves on being open and welcoming to newcomers. They might station greeters at the doors. Some offer small gifts in the lobby for those who are visiting. Others might ask for contact information in order to follow up. However, many congregations in...
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Competition in the Neighborhood?

Why would a church ask a departing pastor to sign a non-compete agreement? In December 2018, World magazine, a touchstone periodical for a conservative swath of the evangelical world in the United States, published an exposé on leadership issues at Harvest Bible Chapel—a...
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The Bittersweet Reality of Multiracial Churches

Multiracial congregations are all the rage, it seems, at least among Protestants. Conferences are being held across the country encouraging pastors and other religious leaders to be multiethnic, and groups like Mosaix and Kainos have been established to support the effort. People...
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Who is Your Neighbor? Who Decides?

Immigration has become one of the most difficult issues facing people throughout Europe and North America. And congregations are on the front lines in many ways. Whether offering services to immigrants and refugees once they arrive or protecting those facing deportation, being...
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