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Taking a break from the Lord's work
The New York Times    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The findings have surfaced with ominous regularity over the last few years, and with little notice: Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could. Public health experts who have led the studies caution that there is no simple explanation of why so many members of a profession once associated with rosy-cheeked longevity have become so unhealthy and unhappy. But while research continues, a growing number of health care experts and religious leaders have settled on one simple remedy that has long been a touchy subject with many clerics: taking more time off. More



Churches may face fines for wireless mics
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches could face six-figure fines if they continue to use wireless microphones that operate within a spectrum the Federal Communications Commission has set aside for public safety entities. "Certain wireless microphones have operated in frequencies that are needed for public safety. When these microphones were first designed, the frequencies they used were in between the frequencies that television stations used to broadcast television programs," the FCC explained. More

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Churches see increase in time, money donations
Statesville Record & Landmark    Share    Share
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At least three church leaders in the Statesville, N.C., area have witnessed a growing spirit of generosity with time and finances among their congregations."I know several families who have said 'I would never give, but recently, I felt like I wanted to increase my trust in the Lord with that,'" said Christ Community Church Senior Pastor David Teague. Teague said tithing decreased a few years ago when the economy first started to turn sour, and people started to lose their jobs. Lately, church officials have seen an increase in giving and a generous spirit, he said. More

Faith and smart phones commune in religion apps
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With smart phones boasting apps to do everything from finding convenient restaurants to identifying stars in the night sky, developers were bound to make programs that bring age-old religious practices into the digital world. Many religious leaders recognize that youth often use new media like smart phones or Facebook to define themselves, interact socially and seek answers for their deepest questions. More

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Rules for churches 'getting political' are complex, intricate
Church Executive Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2010 mid-term election season will affect everyone in the church pews of America. Let’s face it, the government has passed legislation (and is contemplating more) that virtually all of the members of your congregation care about — one way or the other. Has there been a push to bring candidates in to address the issues? Does your pastor feel led to support or oppose various candidates? It seems like a good time to review the rules of what a church — as a 501(c)(3) organization — can and cannot do with regard to speaking out about elections and politicians. More

Don't take logs lightly
Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is important for church leaders to recognize that the tax code imposes strict limitations on the use of the standard mileage rate. In the absence of adequate records, a taxpayer "may alternatively establish an element by his own statement, whether written or oral, containing specific information in detail as to such element" and by "other corroborative evidence sufficient to establish such element." However, the tax code specifically precludes the deduction of automobile expenses on the basis of an approximation or a taxpayer's uncorroborated testimony. More



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Faith and fitness: Exercise good until it becomes a false god
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The sixth chapter of First Corinthians describes the body as “a temple of the Holy Spirit.” For many Christians that means what they do with their body matters to God, including physical fitness. A few, however, caution that too much focus on “temple care” can itself become a sin. While it’s easy to think about idols as statues in a temple somewhere, Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, says idols are everywhere. “Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the good things in life,” he contends. More

South Carolina pastor: Weird to love my church?
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For some reason in America, it's weird when somebody stands up and says "I love my church," lamented a megachurch pastor. But Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina doesn't care."Call me weird, call me stupid, call me crazy, call me part of a cult, call me whatever you want to call me. ... I love my church!" he exclaimed to his congregation on Sunday. Though a recent Gallup poll revealed that around 43 percent of Americans attend church regularly, Noble claimed that only 17 percent are actually attending church every week. Others are going once every three or four weeks "when they need their fix," he said. More



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Poll: Conservative states are most religious
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
States with the highest percentage of self-identifying political conservatives are also more likely to have a higher percentage of citizens who say religion is important to them, according to an analysis of two Gallup surveys. Additionally, the most politically liberal states are least likely to be religious. Gallup released results of a poll Aug. 2 showing Wyoming and Mississippi as tied for first in having the highest percentage of self-identifying political conservatives (53 percent). More

4 "no-no words" in worship
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The church, striving to be current, contemporary and relevant, occasionally throws the baby out with the bath water. The author of this article asked colleagues from around the country to tell him what words they're missing the most these days. They were more than willing to offer up several examples. Here are the top four...you probably have a list of your own. More

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Christian finances more than just tithing
Indianapolis Recorder    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In discussions about Christian believers and finances, a subject that often comes up is tithes and offerings. Christian financial experts, however, note that there is more to managing money for Christians than just “setting aside your 10 percent” for God and the church with each paycheck. Nashville, Tenn.-based financial advisor Teddy Fayne of Teddy Fayne & Associates noted that while being obedient to the command to tithe is important, the Bible also has numerous passages addressing other aspects of financial management. More

The missional heart: Developing a passion for service
Youth Worker    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mission work is simple. Seriously, think about it. Take a crummy place, add some overly privileged youth, throw in a Bible verse and a dash of awareness, and there you have it—a mission experience. The problem is that this is a canned, fast-food, Americanized version of kingdom living—where Jesus and missions fit into our lives only to accommodate a shallow Christian purpose. More

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Testing your church's youth climate
The Freeport News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bailey Gillespie, a youth ministry researcher, points out in a study that he dubbed Value Genesis 2, "Churches are going to need to step it up a bit and recognize the importance of this ministry for church growth." The depth of meaning that should come from the church experience is sorely lacking in many churches today. When it comes right down to the "nitty gritty" many young people leave church because they are disillusioned with their experience. Consider this quote, "It became increasingly evident to me as I did research that the congregational climate was a big factor, not what leaders do, that causes young people to leave church." said Roger Dudley, author of the book “Why Our Teenagers Leave the Church.” More

With big arms and Bibles, the Skate Church scoops up kids feeling lost
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you hang around long enough with the kids of West Seattle's Skate Church, eavesdropping on this loosely formed group of pre-teens, teens and 20-somethings, you might hear a biblical slip or two. That one came from a 14-year-old boy who mixed up his three-syllable cities starting with "B," and though he couldn't come up with "Bethlehem," he demonstrated a better grasp of the more meaningful points he's been learning about Jesus: "He died for our sins, so we can live in heaven. If you accept God, it really affects your life." That's just what the founders of this unorthodox, youth-led church had in mind when they started Skate Church three years ago. More

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    Church sponsors prayer rally for schools
    Montgomery Advertiser    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Community Congregational Church in Montgomery, Ala., is recently hosted a "Save Our Schools" prayer rally. The church's senior pastor, the Rev. Paul Gourdine, is urging families with children in public and private schools, regardless of their religious affiliation, to come together for an hour to "pray for our students and teachers and that God meets their needs." More
     
     
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