4 strategies for breaking the hold of Sunday worship

Yet another change battle is under way in mainline Protestant churches: breaking the hold that Sunday worship has on staffing, budgeting, and overall priorities.

Below are four strategies for doing what needs to be done.

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New Voices

We must accept the fact that, for many people, the old categories of Catholic/ Protestant, Episcopal/Methodist, high church/low church, contemporary/traditional, etc. just do not matter. There are new voices contributing to the religious scene, although most of them would not like to be referred to as religious. But these voices deserve to be heard. They may have left or never been part of the church, but that does not mean that they do not have a lot to say about spirituality, the meaning of life and how to make a difference in the world.

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Radical Pluralism

I want to return now to process theologian John Cobb, who has written extensively on the subject of pluralism and the avoidance of relativism. Along with Complementary Pluralism (from the previous chapter), he has also written about Creative Transformation or Radical Pluralism. In this view, Christ is the Logos, the primordial nature of the Divine and the principle of creative transformation within all the religions.

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Venturing into Pluralism

As we move beyond the exclusive and inclusive view that God’s revelation in Jesus Christ is unique and normative, we find a complex array of options. As we begin to make our way into this labyrinth, we must first understand that pluralism is another one of those words that can have a variety of meanings.

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Pluralism 101

  We have barely begun to deal with the fundamental changes that must be effected within our Christian faith. – John Cobb(1) So here we go! Understand that this is by no means the only way that …

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Hidden Talents

Did you know that the word “talent” is a Greek word which in ancient times was a unit of currency? By ancient standards, it was a real large sum of money.

The dictionary defines talent as: any natural ability or power; a superior ability in an art, etc.

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The Need for a Long-Overdue Racial Reconstruction

What has happened instead is that American society largely has done the absolute minimum to correct the wrongs it has done, and then it gets pretty darn angry when anyone complains that it should do more. As a result, many in the black community continue to feel like second-class citizens, and there is quite a bit of evidence to support this.

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Jesus, A New Adam

Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve.

For me as a progressive Christian, Jesus is the “new Adam”—not the innocent and perfect and beautiful (and initially sexless) Ken and Barbie doll of Adam and Eve; rather the tried and tested, unappealing and vulnerable and wounded one, acquainted with sorrows and grief, the bearer of the sins and injustices of the world—political, religious, and personal. Treasonous and blasphemous, betrayable and deniable, because compassion was all he held dear.

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On Being Cool

I want the coolness that comes from staring at what I call a juniper tree until it stops fitting my definitions and begins to reveal itself to me on its own terms. I want the coolness that comes from taking time to stare at a little desert flower crystallizing into existence out of volcanic sand. I want the kind of coolness that comes from taking the time to appreciate my cool siblings and my cool 88-year-old Dad here in Oregon. Letting them be who they are, as they are, and not just as I might categorize them based on our family history.

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A Hatred of Science Is Killing the Church: Why Young Adults Leave or Never Show Up

By Kurt Willems for Patheos

One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

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Resistance

  Ok, first thing: would all the perfect people here please raise your hands – ok, you’re excused. You’ve earned your automatic A; and you certainly don’t need to sit here listening to someone try to explain …

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Aaron Hernandez’s Hail Mary Pass with John 3:16

Former Patriot tight-end Aaron Hernandez’s suicide leaves us with more questions than answer. Many wonder what were Hernandez’s last dying words expressed in the three handwritten notes to loved ones left next to a Bible in his cell. CBS Boston reports he conveyed “I love you and please don’t cry.”

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Resurrection as Change, Part II

The Emmaus Experience of Transformation

The Emmaus legend is about both the inevitability of change and the possibility of transformation. … In all the swift and varied changes of this world, the elusive goal of converting hearts and minds remains optional.

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Top 5 Demands of Christian Hospitality

Discussions about refugees and immigrants almost invariably include people who strongly express the need to protect borders.

Pope Francis has a helpful perspective that hits the nail on the head:

A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not a Christian.

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“Peace! Be Still!”

The contemplative practices of those escaping “empire,” both politically and religiously…

  How easily my calm was shattered as I started to write this post! My mouse stopped working, and I had to figure out once again how to open it, and then find a fresh battery. Still, …

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Words Matter

  “There’s a time for everything… … a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing… (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Words matter. I believe our president-elect speaks from the heart, …

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Hebrew Multifaith Golden Rule Poster

The Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel and the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department (Toronto, Canada) are pleased to announce the publication of a Hebrew-language poster featuring texts of the Golden Rule in 13 religions.

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God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Leonard Cohen

This is one of my favorite poems celebrating the unexpected splendor of new life out of anticipated death. Happy Easter, all you resurrection artists.

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