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Recession puts the squeeze on some churches

from Los Angeles Times

The Great Recession has left millions of people jobless and cratered home values and retirement accounts. It has also been felt in church collection plates nationwide. Declines in charitable giving have forced many congregations to slash staff and downsize ministry work. A Vermont church went so far as to put up for sale a 100-year-old Tiffany stained-glass window to keep its homeless shelter open. Experts say a relatively small, but unprecedented, number of churches have gone into foreclosure or bankruptcy. "It's been a tough year for churches," said Simeon May, chief executive for the National Association of Church Business Administration, a Texas-based nonprofit that lost 10 percent of its members because of church layoffs. more

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