Credit for keyboard/mouse image: Photo by Maria Stewart from Pexels The University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture is especially focused, not surprisingly, on Southern California, but many of their tools – everything from responding to disasters to engaging racial issues — can be useful to congregational leaders anywhere. Check them out at https://crcc.usc.edu/resources/tools/. They have also produced a very thorough and accessible guide to doing research in religious communities, so if you don’t find
COVID Religion Research This project is gathering both broad, nationally representative surveys and detailed ethnographic case studies. They will follow a set of congregations over the next five years to examine the longer-term impacts of this disruption in congregational life. Check out the ways your own congregations might be involved. National Congregations Study Roughly every 6 years since 1998, the National Congregations Study has surveyed a representative sample of US congregations. It’s a great resource
Supporting Transformation During Times of Congregational Change
Even as change has become ever-present in our lives and those of our churches during the pandemic, our human struggle adapting to and learning from change persists. In our work consulting with congregations at ConvergenceUS.org, we see this in the conflicts and struggles that have heightened and sometimes exploded as congregations pivot from online to hybrid to in-person worship and back again, as leaders navigate setting safety provisions for gatherings, and as all of us
What Next? How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Congregation for Good?
If ‘congregation’ implies gathering, March 2020 created a seismic shift that has fundamentally altered congregational life. If we are able to return to pre-pandemic habits sometime soon, which of the new habits will remain? Thinking about that question will require the sort of careful assessment long-time congregation watcher Jack Wertheimer has offered in a recent essay, “How Will Synagogues Survive?”. He comes to his wisdom by asking good questions and gathering good data webbanki.ru. He
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