Churches

Jason Byassee 6-15-2011

When trying to make sense of the changes that new media have brought to us, we can use either supplementary or substitutionary logic. With supplementary logic, Facebook et al. extend the range of our embodied relationships; with substitutionary logic, social media replace them. Those who want to use social media to enhance their churches' outreach implicitly use supplementary logic. Those who want to worship online and don't want to change out of their pajamas or meet other people in their messy particularity ... well, you get the idea.

A recent trip to New York City for a first meeting of the New Media Project Research Fellows reminded me of the superiority of supplementary to substitutionary logic. This happened because the neighborhood around Union Theological Seminary is so deliciously, specifically, embodiedly particular. Union itself is a marvel: its gothic architecture makes it unmistakable that this is a place with history. Niebuhr taught here; Bonhoeffer smoked and worried and decided to go home here; James Cone and Christopher Morse teach here; Serene Jones leads here. The neighborhood extends this particularity; the Jewish Theological Seminary, down Seminary Row, has a glorious crest above its door: "And the bush was not consumed." A tunnel under Union leads you to the grandeur of Riverside Church, where Fosdick and Forbes thundered. Go a few blocks south and east, and you're at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest interior church space in North America. The morning I visited, the light shone blue through the rose window, filling the clerestory with incandescent beauty. The chapel at Columbia University, with its stained glass above the altar depicting St. Paul preaching on Mars Hill, is a perfect image for situated Christian truth vis-à-vis the gods on campuses and in Manhattan.

This hymn was originally used for the dedication of the 180 solar panels on the sanctuary of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware where I am the co-pastor.
Theresa Cho 6-13-2011

I recently wrote a blog about how to kill a dying church, asking questions about what to do with so many churches dying. I think the challenge is recognizing the signs that a church is dying. The problem is that churches tend to wither, which is a slow, gradual, and often subtle process. It is difficult to pinpoint when in the withering process it is time to take action, to make changes, and to make some vital decisions. While there are many reasons for a church dying, here are some practical observations that I have noticed in my experience. This list is certainly not exhaustive. It is also a list that my congregation has personally had to face, so I give examples of how my congregation has addressed these issues.

The Hebrew scriptures recount time and again how God blesses the earth with enough provision and food for its inhabitants.
Elissa Elliott 6-08-2011
Not too long ago, a family member told me in hushed sad tones that he was praying for me. I wasn't ill. I wasn't going through a tough time. No.
Mike Morrell 6-06-2011
North Carolina, host state for the inaugural Wild Goose Festival, has many things going for it.
Theresa Cho 6-01-2011
I find it discomforting that the Lord instructs someone to wage war and therefore reasoning that God-sanctioned war is justifiable even though as Christians we are called to be peacemakers in the w
Jim Wallis 5-09-2011

Some controversy has arisen about an ad campaign that a new coalition wanted to run in Sojourners on the issue of the LGBTQ community and the church. We chose not to run the ad as this is an issue we want to openly discuss on and through our editorial pages and not through our ad space. Like the larger church, Sojourners' constituency, board, and staff are not of one mind on all of these issues. However, we at Sojourners seek to foster honest, fair, and loving dialogue among Christians. LGBTQ issues may not be our primary calling as our work against poverty and hunger, and for peace, but based on some reactions to our decision, I want to use this as an opportunity to clarify the positions and practices of Sojourners on this important discussion on the life of the church in the early 21st centur

Timothy King 5-09-2011
I was in the middle of a degree in biblical and theological studies when one of my close friends told me she was gay. She didn't last long at her church after coming out to her small group.
Jim Wallis 4-28-2011
Yesterday, the leaders of more than 50 Christian denominations and organizations drew a line in the sand of the budget debate, and asked our political leaders to do the same.
Evan Trowbridge 4-27-2011
Piercing through the bitter, partisan bickering regarding the nation's budget, an unprecedented and diverse group of Christian leaders announced today the forming of a Circle of Protection agains
Nadia Bolz-Weber 4-26-2011
I've often wondered what people in America think when they actually read the story of Jesus rising from the dead for the first time.
[Editors' note: Below is a hymn written by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette to celebrate Palm Sunday.
Jim Wallis 4-07-2011
The hunger fast for a moral budget has gone spiritually viral. Ten days ago, we announced at the National Press Club that the budget debate had become a moral crisis.
Debra Dean Murphy 4-06-2011
"It is not that we burn the Koran with some type of vindictive motive," Mr.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I toured the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf with director Brother Andrew de la Carpentier.
Ernesto Tinajero 3-25-2011
Recently I found a story about a friend from seminary in New York Times.
Ken Fong 3-17-2011
Jesus came to us full of grace and truth (John 1).
Jim Wallis 3-03-2011

In a credit to both Republicans and Democrats, Congress just passed a measure that will avoid a government shutdown for at least the next two weeks. This means that there is still time to protect the poor and most vulnerable during the budget debate.

Jim Wallis 2-03-2011

By all journalistic reports, it was the Egyptian government of President Hosni Mubarak that sent thousands of armed thugs into Tahrir Square and the streets of Cairo yesterday to bring violence to w

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