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Appreciate Your Congregation’s Distinctiveness

Like individuals, congregations are given unique callings and strengths by God. The question is: Who are you today, as a congregation, and what might you become by building on your... read more >


Pay Attention to Worship Services

The worship service is often the first opportunity for a potential new member to connect with a faith community. According to the findings of the 2001 U.S. Congregational Life Survey,... read more >


Churches Going Beyond Ordinary

While all churches have weaknesses, every church has a divine calling that no other congregation has. A congregation can benefit from simultaneously building on its strengths and thinking about what... read more >


Prayers Answered, Dreams Experienced

In this powerful sabbatical reflection, Pastor Tom Hux recounts his history with South African pastor Tshenuwani Simon Farisani, a one-time political prisoner who escaped to California. The two met when... read more >


Tithing: Why People Give

Most academic and church-based conversations about faith and money focus on the needs of churches and the work they do to meet budgets. These top-down concerns do not excite the... read more >


The Challenge of Mainline Denominational Leadership

Even as society is increasingly multiracial, Mainline Protestant denominations remain largely Caucasian. In order to facilitate an anti-racist and pro-reconciliation stance, churches need to evangelize, recruit, and train people of... read more >


Mainline Protestant Congregations: A Challenge

Most congregations see their core tasks as worship, religious education, and fellowship. However, mainline Protestant churches and Catholics do not make the organizational investment in supporting these tasks that African... read more >


Loving Our Neighbors Means Embracing Even the Bad Ones

Boundaries are essential for marking identities; however, there must be gates in those boundaries so they can open and close in hospitable ways. Failure to structure gates into boundaries leads... read more >


Finders Keepers: a Sabbatical Reflection

Pastor Mike Mather had the rare privilege of receiving two sabbatical grants from the Lilly Endowment. The first, in 2000, was a six-month break that allowed him to take his... read more >


Will there be a shortage of black clergy?

Though black congregations are financially stable and functionally vital, young blacks are trending toward legal and medical careers rather than ministry. This pattern is leading to a shortage of next-generation... read more >





Explorer of the Universe, Stephen Hawkings Dies

  "Unlike me, Prof. Hawking did his best to stare into the far reaches of the universe. If anyone could have...

Philanthropy That Thinks Deeply About Rural Community

Based in Indianapolis, the Lilly Endowment is perhaps best known for its grants to strengthen pastoral leaders and...

Grappling with Questions of Belonging, Unity, and Faith

Years ago, against the advice of colleagues, Amanda Parrish Morgan taught Marilynne Robinson's debut novel,...

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