The Common Good

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10 Things THE CHURCH Can't Do While Following Jesus
Originally Posted: 07/09/2013 - 8:28am | Type: Blog

The Christian church is full of Christians, right? Sadly, the reality is the answer to that question is heavily dependent on whom you are asking. The Christian church is full of ...

Church of the Open Doors
Originally Posted: 07/11/2013 - 10:22am | Type: Magazine Article

Brittany Shoot Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change at a Community Called Glide. HarperOne ...

Beers and Hymns
Originally Posted: 06/18/2013 - 12:56pm | Type: Blog

A few months ago, Stephen Marsh, my fellow pastor, and I wondered whether we could spark a ministry by fusing two of our most treasured Lutheran traditions: beers and hymns. Within a few minutes of our convers ...

'From The Beginning:' Addressing the Roots of Sexual Violence in the Church
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 3:06pm | Type: Blog

What about the manipulative behavior that gives rise to the delusion of consent? Was my pastor's not-quite-a-proposition an act of sexual violence? Editor’s Note : ...

Wounding and Welcome in the Church
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 9:49am | Type: Magazine Article

Jason Howard Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christians Pilgrimage in Search of God in America. Harper TWO Y ...

From the Archives: July 1994
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 9:49am | Type: Magazine Article

Richard Rohr Our Script Matters THE FUNCTION of healthy religion and church is to provide individuals and soc ...

Mumford and Sons: A Festival of Devotion
Originally Posted: 05/30/2013 - 3:39pm | Type: Blog

Maybe you know that they were interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine. You might even know they have been criticized by a few religious leaders for being lukewarm in their faith. Yeah. It's all out there fo ...

The Death of a Church and the Rise of Something New
Originally Posted: 05/29/2013 - 1:33pm | Type: Blog

I feel fairly certain the new that is rising is not about changing our music or adding a few new service projects. What is rising from the rubble of our past churches is a radical transformation calling us bac ...

The Revolution is Upon Us
Originally Posted: 05/21/2013 - 4:41pm | Type: Blog

Now comes a new millennium, and Christianity wears so many different faces that it’s difficult to speak of a single “Christian movement.” Religious historians say that every 500 ...

What If 'Sex Week' Came to First Baptist Church?
Originally Posted: 05/17/2013 - 9:38am | Type: Blog

With apologies to Campfield’s ever-vigilant protection of Christian sensibilities, the real problem here is not that mandatory student fees are being used to promote sexual education and awareness. The problem ...

Illuminated
Originally Posted: 05/15/2013 - 10:05am | Type: Magazine Article

Rose Marie Berger Mass in Las Choapas, Mexico On my knees I beg forgiveness for my greed— and for starving m ...

'This Doesn't Go Away'
Originally Posted: 05/24/2013 - 2:12pm | Type: Magazine Article

Amy Simpson Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission by Amy Simpson FOR SERIOUS AND chron ...

With Piercing Wit and Deep Affection
Originally Posted: 05/15/2013 - 10:05am | Type: Magazine Article

Jason Byassee When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Suprising Places, Even the Church. Jericho Books ...

Why I Made My Teenager Go to Church
Originally Posted: 05/06/2013 - 3:44pm | Type: Blog

In this age when the “spiritual but not religious” seem to have more relevance than churchgoers, it’s easy to wonder why church attendance matters at all. But I believe that we need common spaces, more ground ...

America's Rough Week
Originally Posted: 04/19/2013 - 1:49pm | Type: Blog

Life is difficult. It can knock you down. Sometimes, an entire nation gets knocked down. Life is difficult. It can knock you down. Sometimes, an entire nation gets knocked down. ...

Be Ready to Be Changed
Originally Posted: 04/18/2013 - 9:49am | Type: Blog

We’re surrounded by beauty all of the time. Sometimes we just need a little help seeing it. We have a group at our church that does a weekly sandwich ministry together. Though we ...

Boston Marathon’s Holy Ground and Sacred Bonds
Originally Posted: 04/17/2013 - 11:09am | Type: Blog

Monday’s bombing may have tested that bond, but it couldn’t destroy it. Marathoning may look like a solitary journey, but it’s a communal one. Like everything in life, you need plenty of people — and plenty o ...

Atheists Find a Sunday-Morning Connection with Other Nonbelievers
Originally Posted: 04/16/2013 - 4:48pm | Type: Blog

Sunday mornings at Houston Oasis may look and feel of a church, but there’s no cross, Bible, hymnal, or stained glass depictions of Jesus. There’s also nary a trace of doctrine, dogma, or theology. ...

Fifty Years Later, Church Leaders Respond to King’s 'Birmingham Jail' Letter
Originally Posted: 04/15/2013 - 12:17pm | Type: Blog

Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged white church leaders to confront racism, an ecumenical network has responded to his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” F ...

How Will I Know I Have Given Enough?
Originally Posted: 04/12/2013 - 2:07pm | Type: Blog

I am advocating that individual Christians and church communities stop thinking of serving others as a line in a budget of many competing priorities, and begin to think about emulating God’s grace as central t ...

Change or Die
Originally Posted: 04/09/2013 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

Church is being reinvented. So are technology and education. And all for the same reasons. Church is being reinvented. So are technology and education. And all for the same reas ...

A Glorious Mess
Originally Posted: 07/24/2013 - 3:26pm | Type: Magazine Article

Elaina Ramsey Everyone can use guidelines—and repair manuals—for living in Christian community. ANYONE WHO LI ...

Pope Francis Says Women Play a ‘Fundamental’ Role Within the Church
Originally Posted: 04/03/2013 - 4:08pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis on Wednesday said women play a “fundamental role” in the Catholic Church as those who are mostly responsible for passing on the faith from one generation to the next. ...

House of Prayer and Dreams
Originally Posted: 03/18/2013 - 9:32am | Type: Magazine Article

Edwidge Danticat Haiti's once and future cathedral is a place of healing and memory. WE WERE LOOKING at ...

Breaking the Impasse
Originally Posted: 03/28/2013 - 9:32am | Type: Magazine Article

Wes Granberg-Michaelson It's time to reframe the church's conversation around same-sex relationships. ...

CrossFit: A Secular Church?
Originally Posted: 03/11/2013 - 5:41pm | Type: Blog

I think CrossFit is like secular church. It offers more than weight loss or fitness. It speaks to our innate desires for community, purpose, and transformation. The first Christma ...

On the Inside Looking Out
Originally Posted: 03/07/2013 - 12:11pm | Type: Blog

We did a focus group here as part of strategic planning at Trinity Episcopal Church. CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — We did a focus group here as part of strategic planning at Trinity Epis ...

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble
Originally Posted: 02/27/2013 - 8:40am | Type: Blog

The bubble I see bursting is establishment Christianity in America. It is bursting ever so slowly, even as millions of people still find life, meaning, safety, and structure inside. ...

Frank Mugisha
Originally Posted: 02/13/2013 - 10:54am | Type: Magazine Article

Elizabeth Palmberg Six questions for Frank Mugisha. Bio: Executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, ...

To Protect and To Heal
Originally Posted: 03/21/2013 - 11:45am | Type: Magazine Article

Aimee Kang The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response. Fortress Press. OVER DINN ...

As Flu Outbreak Spreads, Faith Leaders Preach Caution
Originally Posted: 01/18/2013 - 5:41pm | Type: Blog

As the flu outbreak spreads across 48 states, some religious leaders are advising their flocks to take precautions, but others say avoiding infection is just a matter of common sense. ...

When Radical Welcome Gets Messy
Originally Posted: 01/16/2013 - 10:06am | Type: Blog

It’s easier to guide the vision and mission of a church you start. It’s another thing to help a 135-year-old congregation reimagine what it means to be a downtown urban church in a world that has changed drama ...

'Relevance' Is Not Enough
Originally Posted: 01/14/2013 - 10:52am | Type: Magazine Article

Anne Marie Roderick Joshua Witchger Many young adults are leaving the church these day ...

Fred Phelps’ Son Condemns Westboro’s Plan to Picket Newtown Funerals
Originally Posted: 12/17/2012 - 5:32pm | Type: Blog

The estranged son of a Kansas pastor famous for protesting the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims has condemned his family’s plans to picket the funerals of the 26 people — including 20 children — who were ...

Eucharist: A Call For The Church to Be One
Originally Posted: 12/14/2012 - 12:01pm | Type: Blog

When it comes to sharing the Eucharist among faithful but separated Christ followers, I wonder if Jesus is waiting for the churches simply to be the Church? When it comes to shari ...

Why Women are the Key to the Church’s Future
Originally Posted: 12/03/2012 - 9:35am | Type: Blog

Anyone who has been paying attention has noticed that, of those left within the walls of most churches, the majority still hanging in there are women. I’ll preface this piece my ...

The Circle of Life
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:14pm | Type: Magazine Article

Nyambura J. Njoroge Adapted from "Women as Compassionate Champions: The Doers and the Leaders," by Nyambura J. Njorage, in Wome ...

Getting Started
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:07pm | Type: Magazine Article

Beth Newberry Your congregation—large or small—has more to invest than you might expect. WANT TO PUT money to ...

Multiplying Loaves
Originally Posted: 01/07/2014 - 12:07pm | Type: Magazine Article

Beth Newberry A small congregation in Kentucky demonstrates how your church may have more money—and power—than you think. ...

Top 5 Best and Worst Bits of 'Christian Sex' Advice
Originally Posted: 11/28/2012 - 12:48pm | Type: Blog

Too often, I fear the church is silent and bashful about sex. One reason, I purport, that youth look to society and friends for answers to questions is they fear it's taboo in religious settings, perhaps ...

It’s Not All Going to Be Okay, and That’s Okay
Originally Posted: 11/12/2012 - 12:02pm | Type: Blog

If we try to mold faith into something more certain than simply faith, it becomes something else. A crutch, perhaps, or a drug. So how or when does this happen? I get asked somet ...

Slow Down and Know That I Am God
Originally Posted: 11/26/2012 - 2:34pm | Type: Magazine Article

C. Christopher Smith Why it's time for a conversation about Slow Church. IN SPRING 1986, a group of Ital ...

Kenyan Churches Claim Herbs Threaten HIV/AIDS Patients
Originally Posted: 10/24/2012 - 2:21pm | Type: Blog

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Church leaders are pressing the Kenyan government to scientifically test herbal medicines that are used by millions to manage and treat diseases, saying the nontraditional therapies could be ...

On Religious Deserts and the Canaanite Woman
Originally Posted: 10/12/2012 - 9:33am | Type: Blog

Personally I tend to come from the perspective that we all have opportunities to enrich one another’s perspective, and when I have the opportunity to be in an environment where the majority of people around me ...

How Should Churches Address the 'Nones?'
Originally Posted: 10/11/2012 - 9:44am | Type: Blog

There’s a new study out this week that shows that one-in-five Americans has no religious affiliation. Not Baptist, not Catholic, not Lutheran, not Jewish, not Muslim. For those of us in the world of organized ...

Is the Future of Church in Fantasy Faith Leagues?
Originally Posted: 10/03/2012 - 2:17pm | Type: Blog

A growing majority of people outside the church doors don’t really care about the denominational logo over the entryway, the name inscribed on the stone sign by the street or the long, rich history of all the ...

All Politics (Should Be) Local
Originally Posted: 09/19/2012 - 3:15pm | Type: Blog

When politics is local, candidates tend to know their people or at least know their interests, worries and hopes. This is the level at which democracy tends to work best. Leaders know their people, people know ...

Episcopal Priest Under Scrutiny for Nude Photos
Originally Posted: 09/18/2012 - 2:32pm | Type: Blog

How does the church recognize the beauty of art that depicts God's creation — the human form — without seeming to condone "a beauty exciting to lust"? In the middle ...

Tony Perkins says Enthusiasm Growing for Romney, Predicts Record Turnout
Originally Posted: 09/13/2012 - 9:57am | Type: Blog

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Sept. 12 that conservative Christians are growing more enthusiastic about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and predicted they would show up at the polls ...

COMMENTARY: It’s Time for Baby Boomers to Cede Control
Originally Posted: 09/11/2012 - 4:34pm | Type: Blog

As baby boomers start clicking the senior citizen box on travel fares, I want to say a word to my generation and to the one that preceded us. It is time for us to get out of the way. ...