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Congregations > Spiritual Practices

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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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New Tasks for the New Congregation: Reflections on Congregational Studies

Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for regional ministries of the American Baptist Churches USA, discusses changes in congregations' cultural environment before considering the new tasks that today's congregations must address.

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Sharing Deep Stories Despite Politics

“We all have deep stories, whatever our politics, but we’re not fully aware of them. They’re dreamlike and are told...

Support for Rural Pastors

Grove City College received a nearly $1 million grant to help establish the Project on Rural Ministry. It’s an outreach...

Sunday Church Servicing in the Wake of Hurricane Michael

"Church leaders knew the Sunday following the storm would be important and necessary in what's expected to be a...

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