How should a congregation respond in worship when a crisis arises in the nation, the community, or the congregation itself? Kathleen Smith reminds us that helping the congregation to remember God’s love and trust in God’s purposes, even in the worst of times, is essential during a crisis.
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With skilled storytelling and gentle humor, Karen McClintock takes readers on a journey in which we learn to recognize the many forms shame takes and explore and heal the shame of our own upbringing, particularly the shame-laden messages within our own religious teachings and practices.
E-mail has become the communication tool of choice for many of us. But, like “parking lot meetings” that cause havoc with communication and decision-making, e-mail can cause misunderstandings and stir conflict. Susan Nienaber looks at how congregations can use this communication miracle constructively and productively.
Be honest, now: Have you ever had trouble encountering God in worship? Sometimes we say the words and receive the benediction without ever connecting with God. Read Graham Standish’s story about transforming worship into a place of intentional, authentic encounter with God’s Spirit.
Jewish tradition views money as an expression of values and a commitment to godly action in the world. Money is a reflection of our priorities, including spiritual priorities. Bob Leventhal and Shawn Israel Zevit, discuss the dynamic tension between economics and spirituality within congregations.
Imagine that you are a greeter – welcoming people to worship. A couple you do not recognize “strangers” comes to the door. How do view them? How do you offer them more than a cheery welcome? How do you offer these strangers the hospitality of God?
Do you feel like your social ministry efforts could be better – make more of difference, reach more folks in need, have a greater impact on unjust systems? Dan Hotchkiss suggests that the place to start is with the right people in the room, asking the right questions.
In a postmodern culture shaped by baby boomer values and marked by a consumerist approach to nearly everything, it’s little wonder that there is so much confusion about who and what the church is supposed to be in the 21st century.