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Beyond the “People”: The Stories Congregational Buildings Tell by Nancy Ammerman

Two stories back in 2014 had me thinking about that old children’s finger play – “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.”  Congregations certainly are “the people.”  But most are also the building and all the “stuff” they accumulate. Lots of...
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Seeing and Staying – Rural Congregations and Rural Communities

Many students of congregational life focus their attention on religious gatherings in the city. It’s where the action is! Where there are exciting challenges and new opportunities. Where your innovations will get noticed and rewarded. But what about the thousands of gatherings in...
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Great Data for Curious Leaders

If you are a congregational leader or lay worker in a local church, you’ve likely looked around and noticed your community is changing. Perhaps you wonder if your congregation needs to change, too. Is there a site with the tools and resources that can help you find reliable...
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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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The Practicalities of Change: Racial Integration in a South African Church

In South Africa churches may be among the last bastions of apartheid, but some churchgoers are crossing racial lines, for the sake of survival. Philippolis is a small farm town far away from everything. Far from the city and the government, far from justice and equality. The...
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