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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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The Ministry of Mentoring in the 21st Century Church

Amy McCreath, an Episcopal chaplain at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considers the historic and present needs and challenges for Christian mentoring especially with what she calls the present "open source" generation in a post-modern society of increasing complexity.

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Bread and Breath for the Breadth of the Journey: Reflections Three Years Out

orisanne Cooper, of Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, describes her exploration of spiritual and physical practices

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Pastor’s Sabbatical Helps Him Experience Strands of Religious Diversity

Jim Papile, of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston, Virginia, wanted to travel to places where Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Eastern Orthodoxy and contemporary American culture were dominant in order to experience how the faithful expressed their religious beliefs in their day-to-day lives.

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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 Leads Pastor to Feel Fully Alive

Juliette Marsh Williams, of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Altadena, California, recalls how her Louisville Institute sabbatical unexpectedly drew her to look beyond the gift of an extended period of time away

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Constellations of Meaning: Looking Beyond the Milky Way

Taking the advice she gave to new ministers that they should "read everything, love wildly and have fun," Catherine MacLean, of St. Paul's United Church in Edmonton, Canada, found in her Louisville Institute sabbatical that "carving study time — reading that doesn't have an immediate connection to Sunday — bears fruit in the practice of ministry."

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O Taste and See that the Lord is Good!

Taking two areas of great interest to him seriously — the renewal of the Sabbath and the Slow Food movement — Kurt M. Billings of St. James Lutheran Church, in Verona, Wisconsin, fashioned a sabbatical through the Lilly Clergy Renewal Program that allowed him to discover that Sabbath rest is different from simply collapsing after a long work week

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Beyond the Howl of Coyotes: Reflections on a Good Sabbatical

Focusing his Louisville Institute sabbatical project around studying and praying the Psalms, William G. Carter of First Presbyterian Church, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, looked to two quite different sites

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What Must a Pastor Know?: Reflections on Congregational Studies

Arthur Boers, assistant professor of pastoral theology and coordinator of the Spiritual Formation Program at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, surveys key insights that have emerged from a rapidly expanding literature on the nature and patterns of congregational life in the United States.

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Looking for Online Resources?

The Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) is an online tool designed to help leaders of all congregations find the right...

Is Pence Right About The Growth of Religion in the US?

"Religion in America isn’t receding. It’s just the opposite. Faith is gaining new life across America every day." —...

Apply for a Thriving in Ministry Grant

Lilly Endowment Inc. has announced a new grant program to help pastors thrive in congregational leadership and thus...

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