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IRS offers tips for year-end giving
IRS    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind several important tax law provisions that have taken effect in recent years. Some of these changes include special charitable contributions for certain IRA owners, rules for clothing and household items and guidelines for monetary donations. More

School Kids Help Design Their New Playground

"When Denver Public Schools’ Force Elementary School learned that they would be getting a completely new playground under the city’s “Learning Landscapes” program, they asked students to help design it. PLAYTIME transformed the kids’ drawings into playground-size climbers, tunnels and slides. 

Changing role of Christianity a top trend in 2011
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California-based evangelical research organization Barna Group named the changing role of Christianity as one of its “Top Trends of 2011.” The category of “Changing Role of Christianity” focused on what the Barna Group described as the American struggle “to determine how faith, Christianity and church fit into contemporary life.” A November survey found over 40 percent of Americans could not name an American leader they considered an “influential Christian.” And an April survey on religious pluralism found that 50 percent of Americans believe that “all people are eventually saved or accepted by God, no matter what they do.” More

Virginia churches worry New York's school rental ban will spread
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Churches in Virginia have expressed concern over a recent New York court’s decision to bar congregations from using public school buildings, fearing such a decision could spread to their state. Kenny Bass, associate pastor of Sonlight Church, which meets at Great Bridge Middle School in Chesapeake, Va., felt that even in Virginia there was a possibility a similar decision would be made. “You never know what to expect anymore,” said Bass. “We’re having a constant prayer … and we do not take it for granted.” More

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Making space at Christmas
Church Marketing Sucks    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., launched the Making Space capital campaign at Christmas to revamp their food shelf and host homeless families. The response in this down economy? "People love it. It’s a bit weird to ask for money for a capital campaign like this during services and have the congregation break into applause." More

Sustainability: A small church concern
Chuck Warnock Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Small churches are concerned about a lot of things including growth, finances, and ministry programs. But one issue seems to cut across all of these small church concerns — sustainability. Small churches often do not ask the question, “How are we going to sustain this?” before launching a new program or ministry. A quick glance at the typical small church’s schedule illustrates the importance of sustainability. Most small churches have at least two weekly programs — worship and Sunday School. Think about what it takes to sustain these efforts each week. More

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Communications 3.0: Trends that will impact your ministry
Goodmanson    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the growth of the web, new forms of communication are becoming dominant. Old methods of communication are impacted by this change. For example, the U.S. Postal Service is considering the elimination of Saturday delivery because mail is down 26 percent in five years. Or look at the newspaper industry. We are seeing not only new ways to read the news, but a whole transformation of the industry. Technology’s growth creates behavioral and organizational change in deep ways. These changes require your organization to communicate and interact with people in new and different ways. Here's a look at a few trends that will change how you engage your audience. More

5 ways social media can help churches connect at Christmas
Church Tech Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Social media can be one of the most effective tools you can use during the holidays to reach out to your busy church members. Many people want to participate and engage, but are being pulled in many different directions, as we all are during this time of year. This article provides five helpful ways that social media can help churches connect at Christmas. More

Free Guide to
Year-End Giving

November and December make up the most generous season of the year. Even people who wouldn’t usually consider giving are drawn to thoughts about generosity. This guide from ServiceU offers helpful information for church staff and lay leaders as they prepare for the most important financial season of the year.
Learn More

Church uses graffiti to send Christmas message to all
Yahoo Voices    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the world frolics and shops in the glitter of holiday cheer, a downtown Austin, Texas, church congregation has shocked urban neighbors with graffiti on the retaining wall outside the sanctuary to prod people to ponder Christmas' meaning. The message at St. David's Episcopal Church centers on the advent season -- the weeks leading to the celebration of the birth of Christ. The project began the week of Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas with the fifth and final graffiti wall segment. Phrases painted in bright graffiti offer unpredictable, thought-provoking statements about the advent message. More

Christmas pageants add production values to spread cheer and message
Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The message may be the same, but the way it is delivered has certainly changed as large churches produce more elaborate Christmas productions every year. Sacramento, Calif.-area churches are staging Christmas shows that often include large casts, theatrical lighting and music, and special guests."We do Christmas around here big because God did Christmas big the first time," Curt Harlow, teaching pastor at Bayside Church in Roseville, Calif., said during the church's show Friday night.The 90-minute show, which is a worship service, began with Brewster and ended with the audience of about 2,600 lighting candles, meant to serve as a reminder to let their light shine throughout the year. The church has been planning the show for nearly a year. More

Christianity has become less European over past century, study says
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the Christmas season underway, a new study finds that the Christian percentage of the world's population has remained fairly steady over the last century, but its distribution has changed dramatically, with just 25 percent now found in Europe, a slightly higher percentage than in sub-Saharan Africa. The study by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that there are 2.18 billion Christians in the world, about one-third of the estimated 6.9 billion global population. About 37 percent of those Christians are in the Western Hemisphere. More

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Facility exteriors: Curb appeal
Worship Facilities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our mothers always told us, “It’s what’s inside that counts.” While that’s true for people, a church’s outside can be just as important as what is inside. What’s outside may make the first impression and influence a person to investigate and visit—or avoid—a church. Signage, symbols, lighting, landscape and landscape architecture, playgrounds and parking all play a role in determining your church’s curb appeal. More

Compensation disputes between clergy and churches    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ministers who are employed to perform ministerial services, and who are paid a salary that meets or exceeds the "salary test," are professional employees exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ministers not compensated on a salary basis, or who earn a salary below the salary test, may not be covered by the Act. Department of Labor regulations suggest that the Act does not apply to any ministers, and a few federal courts have ruled that the so-called ministerial exception prevents the application of the Act to ministers. More

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Augusta, Ga., minister develops church donation app
The Augusta Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Forgot your checkbook at church? There’s an app for that.A new smartphone application developed by the Rev. Marty Baker, of Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Ga., is gaining traction with churches across the country. The app, called SecureGive Mobile after the company he and his wife, Patty, founded in Evans in 2005, is the first of its kind to be released in the Apple App Store. The app allows parishioners to donate to their church from the convenience of their iPhone, iPad or Android phone. “This is a tool that will help fund the church,” said Baker, the founding pastor of Stevens Creek, a Church of God congregation. More

Church gives gift of a free tank of gas
WYTV-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
John Blazo's Chevy truck is not cheap to fill up, it usually costs him $50, but on Saturday his fill up was free. "I thought it was April, you know how people play April Fool's jokes on you.", said Blazo. His free fill up was courtesy of Crossroads Church in Youngstown, Pa. Through tithing, the church set aside $4,000 to buy gas for people in the community. Each car received a $50 fill up. More

George Fischoff presents Gauguin/ Savage Light A Musical

An exciting one person performance of the journey to greatness of the immortal French artist Paul Gauguin!

Read the NY Times Review

Click here for Tickets and Show Times.


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