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More Protestant churches feel economic pain
The Tennessean via USA Today    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The recession is dipping into church collection plates. A growing number of Protestant congregations have seen their Sunday collections drop this year, according to a survey by LifeWay Research on the economic health of churches. Pastors blame high unemployment and a drop-off in giving by members. To make ends meet, churches have laid off staff and frozen salaries, put off major capital projects and cut back on programs. At the same time, more of their congregation members and neighbors are asking for help with basic needs like paying the rent and buying groceries, the study found. More

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Poll: Americans are still really into Christmas
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite all the First Amendment controversy raised by placing these religious symbols on government ground, about three-quarters of Americans have no problem with it. In a recent poll by Rasmussen, 74 percent said they supported "Christmas Nativity scenes, Hanukkah Menorahs and Muslim Crescents" on public land. The survey question did not touch on the secular symbols appearing alongside these holiday displays, some in the form of signs and quotes, some as trees or Festivus poles. More

Church shares financial blessings through tithes
The Hutchinson News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
This will be the second season the congregation of the United Methodist Church of Geneseo, Kan., has been abundantly blessed with more money than they need, said the Rev. Ticia Bennett. So church members decided to tithe to three churches that have been experiencing a lean season. "In the last two years we've had blessings toward the end of the year," Bennett said. Both years the generous gifts enabled the congregation to pay their bills, update their building, they wanted to use the rest of the money to help others in these harsh economic down times. It was totally membership led to tithe," she said. More

Joy to the World? Churches deal with holiday grief
Associated Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ever since an angel announced good news to shepherds working the night shift, Christians have associated the birth of Jesus with joy. But some people who have experienced significant loss in the recent past find a season of celebration observed against a soundtrack of “Joy to the World” a bit hard to handle. Churches can help reduce the pain for grieving people by dialing back expectations and not heightening the pressure, chaplain Mark Grace said. When Grace, vice president of mission and ministry at the Dallas-area Baylor Health Care System, speaks to churches about grief and bereavement during the Christmas season, he begins by urging congregations not to buy into the holiday hype. More

Young Canadians increasingly shunning religious institutions
The Globe & Mail    Share    Share on
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If the future for institutional religion in Canada lies in the hearts and minds of the young, a dark night is sweeping down on the country's churches, synagogues and temples. Young Canadians, who religious leaders once hoped would find their way back to faith, are instead doing the opposite: leading the country's march toward secularism. And with the exception of evangelical Christians, they are doing it at an accelerated pace. More
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Recognizing responsibility
Your Church    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A church may be legally responsible for injuries through failure to exercise adequate supervision of its programs and activities. It's also possible for a church to be responsible for injuries that occur on its premises while being used by an outside group, if it maintains "control" over those premises. The following are two examples we can use to conclude whether a church would be responsible for injuries on or off its property. More

Celebrate the New Year at church
Baptist Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Need some new ideas about bringing in more people on New Year’s Eve? Here are three exciting, fresh ideas to bring in the New Year at your church. More

Counteract burnout by returning to job No. 1
Church Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A few thousand years ago, the prophet Jeremiah suffered burnout. Decades of pronouncing judgment on an unrepentant Israel wore him down. In the book named after him, he begs for release from this horrible work, but God forbids him to leave it. Jeremiah’s battle against burnout reveals who he really is as a leader – a mixture of character traits and weaknesses we can all appreciate. More

Merry Christmas: Retailers say trend of generic greetings ending
Fay Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five or six years ago, political correctness started making its way into the holiday greetings in retail marketing. Being careful not to alienate non-Christian customers, some of the nation's top retailers opted for a more generic approach, replacing the traditional "Merry Christmas" with a more general "Season's greetings" and "Happy holidays." And forgoing "Christmas tree" for "holiday tree." That advertising trend may be nearing an end. More

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Online giving helps people give more and give more consistently to your church. Learn about the five ways that TransactU™ can help increase your church’s overall giving.

Bible translators aim at closing language gap
Charisma Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. While much progress has been made, more than 2,000 languages—spoken by more than 350 million people—still lack translations of the Bible. Now, Bible translators are aiming to close the gap with the next wave of translations that target yet unreached people groups—and offer study aids and new versions for nations where the Gospel is actively preached. More

South Florida church sets new record for Nativity scenes
Sun-Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Congregants at the Oasis Church in Pembroke Pines, Fla., whooped, clapped and cheered as they heard the number 2,150 — meaning they had set a new record for the number of Nativity scenes on display at one time. The figurines, tapestries, Christmas tree ornaments and crayoned pictures easily outdid the previous record of 1,802 held by an Italian collector in the Guinness World Records book. Three counters and a notary public verified the number at Oasis Church before a gospel concert Saturday night. Church staff plans to fill out paperwork for the Guinness organization. More

Church's Eagle Scouts soar into history    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-one-year-old Terrence Juan Cochran’s pride was apparent as he looked at the 12 African-American teens making history for Troop 914, the Boy Scouts of America and St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church. “I never imagined we would get to this point,” said Cochran, a Troop 914 Eagle Scout since 2005, as he viewed the boys, their church mentors and family members gathered at the ceremony in which the 12 joined Scouting’s elite. The ceremony marked the second time ever this many African-American Boy Scouts were bestowed the Eagle Scout rank at one time, according to the Boy Scouts of America National Council. The Rev. Tyrone D. Gordon, senior pastor, said this is a milestone in one of the church’s most important missions. More

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