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Who is going to church? Not who you think, study finds
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Who is filling the pews in American churches? It is increasingly likely that they won’t be working class white people, according to new research. While religious service attendance has decreased for all white Americans since the early 1970s, the rate of decline has been more than twice as high for less educated, lower and lower-middle class whites compared to more educated and presumably more affluent whites, according to a study presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas. More

Effort to Restore Children's Play Gains Momentum
Unstructured playtime helps develop crucial social and intellectual skills needed to succeed in life, advocates say as they try to pull children and their parents away from the screen. "A big part of free play is having space to do it in, a space that isn't ruled over by adults." MORE

On 9/11, preachers struggle to find the right words
Religion News Service via the Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standing in the pulpit on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, what do you say? For clergy called upon to preach that day, which falls on a Sunday, the challenge can be connecting with a congregation that might have already moved beyond the tragedy. But in many congregations other realities will dominate: people in the pews who lost family on 9/11; Muslims who have suffered a backlash since the attacks; soldiers who are still fighting wars set off by the events of that crisp September day. More

5 ways to commemorate 9/11 at church
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the first anniversary of 9/11, the author of this article was in New York as a victim chaplain to minister to family members at the memorial service. Standing in the darkness overlooking the gaping hole left by the disaster, she overheard a man nearby mumbling, "I was standing right here that day." After a long pause, he continued, "I haven't even been back until now. I still can't believe it happened." Suddenly she realized that he was talking to her. As she listened to his devastating story of friends who died and his personal terror that day, he sobbed uncontrollably, weeping huge tears. As we prayed, God gave comfort to the man who was trying to put his world back together. Since the tenth anniversary of 9/11 falls on a Sunday, how can you acknowledge it at your church? Here are a few ideas. More

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Virginia Episcopal churches face uninsured quake losses
Episcopal News Service    Share    Share on
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East Coast Episcopal churches great and small spent Aug. 24 assessing damage caused by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck the day before outside of Richmond, Virginia, and finding that their insurance may not cover needed repairs. Washington National Cathedral, sixth-largest cathedral in the world and the second-largest such church in the United States, sustained significant damage. The repairs will cost millions, in part because of the building's handcrafted stonework, the cathedral said in a press release. None of the costs associated with the anticipated repairs will be covered by the cathedral's insurance, according to a tweet on the cathedral's Twitter page. More

Finding God at church
Wesleyan Life    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The rate of church attendance has been falling for decades in North America. The primary reason, the author believes, is not that the music isn't contemporary or the preaching doesn't talk about real-life issues, but that there is not power in our worship. We seldom sense an authentic connection to God. More
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5 ways online ticketing helps with outreach
Church Tech Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the holidays such as Christmas and Easter, many churches rely on special events – larger and more frequent church services, holiday-themed performances, concerts and even art galleries – to draw people in to their church as a form of outreach to the community. These events are wonderful tools to communicate the Gospel beyond your front doors. But before your events begin, it’s crucial to take a look at the way you register people and sell tickets to people in order to guarantee that your facility will have enough room. Taking tickets for events online through your website is a wonderful solution for both events that incur a fee and those that do not. More

Church safety: Under the microscope
Worship Facilities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pinpointing the role of proper design and equipment selection is helping keep churches—and their people—safe. The fact that we call worship spaces “sanctuaries” is telling. When we think of church, we think of a place where we feel safe and secure. Most of the time, we are— but this doesn’t mean that church leaders don’t have a responsibility to keep their staff, congregations, and physical assets out of harm’s way. Jeffrey A. Hawkins, founder and executive director of the Christian Security Network, a consulting organization based in Manassas, Va., underlines the importance of considering security at the beginning of a construction or renovation project. More

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6 steps to becoming an effective leader    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leadership is an art, and it’s an art that anyone can learn for the most part. Just because someone learns an art doesn’t mean they will be good or effective. Just think about all of the painters, musicians, communicators, or artists of any sort; although they have learned an art, very few get through the threshold from simply being an artist to being an effective artist. That same statement is true for the art of leadership…there are many leaders who never become effective leaders. More

Compensation: How much?    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Compensation planning is an important task for many reasons. Church leaders need to have a basic understanding of what constitutes compensation; which fringe benefits are taxable and which are nontaxable; how to properly report compensation; how to assess the adequacy of compensation; and, the legal significance of paying excessive compensation. This article addresses the important question of the amount of compensation paid to ministers and lay staff members. More

Tax break for clergy questioned
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under a provision of the tax code known as the parsonage allowance, first passed in 1921, an ordained clergy member may live tax-free in a home owned by his or her religious organization or receive a tax-free annual payment to buy or rent a home if the congregation approves. The Tax Court ruling, made final in March, extends the parsonage allowance to an unlimited number of homes, which may be owned either by the religious organization or the clergy member. More

Civic spaces transform into worship places on Sundays
The Champions Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For many Americans, faith is an important aspect of everyday life. For some, such faith is discovered in the most unassuming places: a local school or even a movie theater. “The idea of church without walls is more of a reality than ever because technology allows us to not change anything we do but just to have our service anywhere,” said the Rev. Jason Taylor, executive pastor of Faith Assembly Church in Cypress, Texas. More

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Churches weathering economic storm
Northfield Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
“It’s better to give than to receive.” This oft-quoted adage, which is recorded in the New Testament book of Acts (Acts 20:35), is an important tenet of the Christian church. But how do churches fare when those who give to their organizations are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression? Reports from some faith leaders run the gamut. More

Megachurch's organic farm gives fresh produce to needy
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Coming from a family of four generations of California farmers, ministry leader Gene Archibek said he was “done with farming” as a child. However, late last year, the 40-year-old member of Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., said he was inexplicably drawn to the church’s recently acquired ranch land in San Juan Capistrano. Archibek said he suddenly realized why God had led him to the property. “I was walking up a hill and I saw an abandoned tractor that was very similar to what my grandfather had when I was a child. And right there, God just put it into my heart what I had to do,” he said. More

Extreme couponing, for a cause    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Heather Bonner clutches a hefty stack of crisply cut coupons as she bustles through the sliding doors of her local Publix in Dacula, Georgia. It’s obvious she’s no stranger here. "Heather, haven’t seen you in a while! Big order today?" asked Publix Cashier Beth Goldstein. An employee wheels out a flatbed of 195 pre-ordered items, from Cheerios and Whole Fruit Bars to feminine products and band-aids. It’s all for local charities, and all in a day's work. More

George Fischoff presents
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Read the NY Times Review

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