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Faiths unite in South Florida to help Haiti
Miami Herald    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The earthquake in Haiti has brought an outpouring of response from South Florida's religious community. While large-scale efforts among specific denominations have gotten much attention, many smaller faith groups have joined together for relief efforts. Leaders say faith commands them to help and when disaster hits, theological differences go out the door. Those working on relief include Scientologists, who flew a group from Miami to Port-au-Prince last week, and Mormons and Muslims, who have teamed to send supplies. More



Haiti relief donations qualify for immediate tax relief
IRS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
People who give to charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti can claim these donations on the tax return they are completing this season, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their 2009 return qualify for this special tax relief provision, enacted Jan. 22. Only cash contributions made to these charities after Jan. 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are eligible. This includes contributions made by text message, check, credit card or debit card. More




New York's elite churches struggle with recession
The Christian Century    Share    Share
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More than a century ago, when Fifth Avenue was lined with mansions, its houses of worship were built, supported and populated by Vanderbilts, Astors and Belmonts. While Fifth Avenue morphed into New York's toniest shopping district, the landmark sanctuaries endured, and they're now coping with the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. The problem is that the A-list families that once packed the pews and padded the budgets are long gone. More


Why some Americans mix Christianity, Eastern religions
Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a study released last month, which found that large numbers of America’s faithful do not neatly conform to the expectations or beliefs of their prescribed religions, but instead freely borrow principles of Eastern religions or endorse common supernatural beliefs. The intermingling of faiths is not new, but some Christian leaders worry that its apparent increase in America distracts worshipers from the true path and dilutes Christian doctrine. But others say mixing and matching elements of different faiths is inevitable, given exposure to other parts of the world made possible by today’s technology, and actually creates more opportunities to address people’s yearning for spiritual growth. If the global marketplace divvies up the production, distribution, and marketing of goods among different continents, they say, why shouldn’t religions be shared the same way? More


Communicating Effectively With Mass Email
Mass email is a highly effective tool in the church’s communications strategy. The church can customize emails sent out to each recipient and quickly gain their attention with information relevant to them. Download the ACS Technologies ministry guide Communicating Effectively With Mass Emails for more information. more


Churches studying financial options
GazetteXtra    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's a common refrain: We've got to do more with less. That line usually is followed by, "We've got to think in new ways." We've heard it at work and at home, and it tends to make us roll our eyes--or wish for the good old days when finances were flush. But local churches have taken up that challenge. Faced with a down economy and a general decrease in tithing, they’ve found ways to stay focused on their missions. More


Churches still meeting needs, despite financial struggles
Ministry Today Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite ongoing financial difficulties and increased joblessness in many communities, most churches are pressing on to help those in need. So says a LifeWay Research survey of more than 1,000 pastors that discovered the overwhelming majority of churches have yet to experience any kind of economic rebound from the recession. In fact, the report indicates most churches may be experiencing tougher times than a year ago. Almost three out of 10 churches (29 percent) represented in the survey indicated that giving was down from a year prior, while more than two-thirds (35 percent) had experienced a plateau in tithes and offerings. Of those churches whose giving had declined, 18 percent had experienced a drop of 10 percent or more. More


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MyBus™, by Thomas Built Buses
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Keeping Your Church Safe
Sometimes it's easy for things to slip through the cracks. GuideOne Insurance has developed Keeping Your Church Safe to walk you through many of the more common risks a church faces. Whether it is church building security, nursery safety, transportation safety or an annual building inspection, this guide will be a resource you use again and again. Download
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From simple scheduling tools for small churches to powerful systems for entire campuses, the "EMS" line from Dean Evans & Associates has a product to meet your needs and budget: EMS Lite, EMS Professional, EMS Enterprise and EMS Master Calendar . Learn why more than 1,400 churches rely on EMS.




The 'in-between' bunch: Using interns in your ministry
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Can anyone help me with all these young people?" It's a common cry heard from youth workers. Volunteers can do a great deal to enrich our programs, but there is one unalterable fact about volunteers: They can quit if they want to because they're not held accountable by money or a church staff. Even with a large staff of dedicated volunteers, we often need someone who can give extra amounts of time to personal contact, administration and youth programming. When you need more than a youth ministry volunteer can give, but you're not looking for another you, an intern may be the answer. More


Faiths cope with empty pews
Daily Gleaner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer people in the pews and lighter collection plates are forcing religious organizations to consider drastic action - including cutting services, merging congregations or even closing houses of worship. The problem in Manitoba, Canada, is particularly acute in rural areas where the number of farming families has fallen off sharply in recent years and a growing number of primarily younger people embark on different career paths, most of them in the city. More


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Three perspectives on ministry ups and downs
Ministry Marketing Coach    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Life is full of ups and downs. And so is ministry. In a time when jobs are difficult to find, many churches are also experiencing the challenge of maintaining budgets and funding important initiatives. To make matters worse, the last few years have seen the emergence of lawsuits in the church, which no doubt, do nothing but distract from Kingdom efforts. More


The state of social media in churches
Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The social nature of media will continue to converge in ways we cannot imagine during the next five years. As church leaders, it is important to understand the state of social networking, and the directions of these participatory technologies. These tools may promise significant benefits to churches, who seek to build community, mobilize congregations, and offer greater interaction with unbelievers. And an understanding today leads to better action today and better planning for tomorrow. More


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Use new media to spread gospel, Pope Benedict tells priests
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For God's sake, blog! Pope Benedict told priests Saturday, saying they must learn to use new forms of communication to spread the gospel message. In his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Communications, the Pope, who is 82 and not known for a love of computers or the Internet, acknowledged that priests must make the most of the "rich menu of options" offered by new technology. More


11 easy steps to a successful children's ministry
LifeWay    Share    Share on
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Life is full and you're a busy person! You already know that leading children is a 24/7 endeavor. Here are a few tips and treasures for you to ponder as you go that will help you become more effective as you lead children to love Jesus. More


World Emergency Relief
Helps eradicate the worlds five most crucial daily emergencies; food, water, education, healthcare and child safety.  Let us be your mission stewards. See www.worldemergencyrelief.org.
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What's changing, what's not
Leadership Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, offers his state of the church in America, based on recent research and his own observations looking through the "keyhole" of large churches. More


Seismic change is coming to the church in a new demography
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is a new U.S. demography on the horizon. The demographics in several key areas are shifting in the early 21st century. They aren’t your father’s population trends, and the church must be positioned to better serve the changing culture. There is much to be learned from the spiritual successes of previous decades, but there are also new challenges in society today. No church body desires to phase out because they didn’t attract new people. How local churches address these macro changes in demography, however, will either help or hinder their part in God's Gospel mission. More


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Minister preaches a green message
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When a San Francisco nonprofit was pushing a controversial California bill last year to remove the restrictions on energy that residents can generate from solar and wind systems, the group needed supporters. So it turned to an ordained minister named Sally Bingham. As the environmental minister at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, Bingham is sought after by more than just Vote Solar. Other environmental groups and political leaders are also reaching out to the 67-year-old, who operates a nonprofit interfaith environmental outreach group dubbed the Regeneration Project out of a modest office in the city's Financial District. More


Las Vegas pastor: Get rich quick in God
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The phrase is used by countless authors, gurus and even Christian leaders who try to provide an easy formula for wealth and happiness, especially during recent economic challenges. But Central Christian Church Senior Pastor Jud Wilhite has a different solution for millions of Americans who feel strapped financially. "Wanna get rich quick?" he posed. "Be rich in God." Preaching to his Las Vegas congregation in a series titled "Strapped," Wilhite encouraged Christians to make 2010 different from the previous year. Rather than wasting time worrying over money and the economy, congregants were called to live the new year with greater faith, hope and trust in God. More


HOW DO WE CONVERT MORE VISITORS
The church world of today often appears to be a revolving door that does not have a stop button. We encourage our members to invite friends and family, we mail welcome cards to the local community and we offer invites through the marquee in front of the church. People show up, we greet them; we thank them and ask them to fill out cards... MORE


What's your financial resolution in 2010?
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We've begun a new year, and if you're like me, you've set goals for what you'd like to accomplish before the year ends. Recent surveys have shown financial resolutions such as getting out of debt and saving more money are very popular this year. In fact, people seem to be more focused right now on their financial health than their physical health. This should not be a surprise given the economic pain many people are feeling. More


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