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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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Studying Congregations in a Pandemic

In the midst of this pandemic, congregations have often been in the news (not always for good reasons). Newspaper columnists are writing about how we need what religion has to offer and how we miss the little things, like singing together, as well as highlighting the creative...
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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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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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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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