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The cost of faith

from The Gazette

With a decline in overall giving and fewer people in the pews, churches across the country are facing staff and programming cuts in a trend toward what some researchers call "the new normal" for today's faith community. Before it got to that point at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon, Va., Rev. Mark Gefaller took the woes to the congregation. "We were having some struggles with giving but last fall we created a campaign that let people know exactly where we are," said Gefaller. "They've responded quite well." The congregation was able to stave off layoffs for church staff and the elimination of any programs. more

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