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Create Healthy, Positive Congregational Change

The process of congregational change can be frustrating, at best. At worst, committee members can become defensive, resistant and oppositional. Church members might leave, or withdraw their financial support or... read more >

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How to Avoid New Clergy Burnout

New clergy usually start out with a passion for preaching and leading congregations. Over time, unfortunately, the passion too often subsides and the “want to” becomes a “have to,” according... read more >

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American Mainline Protestantism: A Study Guide

During the early part of the 20th century, a coalition of members of several denominational traditions known as Mainline Protestants shaped the public religious culture of the United States. At... read more >

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Christian Unity: Local Movements & Congregational Implications

Paul E. Grabill, of State College Assembly of God in State College, Pennsylvania, proposes that an emerging “City Church” movement may well bring about a “New Reformation” of American Protestantism... read more >

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Reshaping Ministry in the Light of a Pastors Working Group

From his experience over thirteen months with an ecumenical group of pastors, William F. Buchanan, of the Fifteenth Avenue Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, finds hope for the church’s future... read more >

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A Clergy Sabbatical: God’s 'Set-Aside' for the Soul

Lawrence Pray, of First Congregational UCC in Big Timber, Montana, compares his sabbatical experience as a “set-aside time” akin to the practice of farmers when they "set aside" certain parts of their acreage so that the earth can be renewed and provide in the future more plentiful harvests.

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The Integration of Preaching & Transformational Leadership

Convinced that preaching is the primary spiritual discipline for parish leaders and yet must be connected to effective leadership in other dimensions of congregational life, Mariann Edgar Budde, of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, pursued two projects during her sabbatical.

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Pastor Studies Future of ‘Name Brand’ American Protestant Church

Faced with a group of potential members from a new generation who drifted away after finding the church wanting, Robert Kyte, pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Dalton, Massachusetts, employed his time on sabbatical to ask whether there is a future for the traditional "name brand" (Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, UCC) American Protestant churches.

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Sabbatical Offers Pastor Flight from Fear, Pathway to a New Song

Andrea Leininger, of Bethel United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, recognized that fear is the great enemy of faith until appreciated as an invitation from God to move beyond the distraction of fearing rejection, failure, change or death.

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Sabbatical Helps Revive Pastor’s Love for Community

Quoting Ron Heifetz's dictum that leaders need to "get to the balcony" every once in a while to gain perspective...

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75th Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising April 19, 1943

"April 19 is deeply embedded within my personal memory bank. On that date 75 years ago, in 1943, I was a youngster...

Strengthening Churches and Congregations

New book, Divergent Church from Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris featured by Center for Congregations.   New...

A No News Day

"Imagine you had a very special time machine: one that could take you back to any April 18 in all of history. When and...

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