Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant

(Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice)

There is a problem in the black church. It is a problem with black bodies and a blues problem. This book addresses these problems head-on. It proclaims that as long as the black church cannot be a home for certain bodies, such as LGBT bodies, then it has forsaken its very black faith identity. The black church must find a way back to itself. Kelly Brown Douglas argues that the way back is through the blues.

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Bishop John Shelby Spong: Why Atonement Theology will Kill Christianity

Speaking at Community Christian Church of Springfield, MO, Bishop Spong gave us a taste of sections of his next book which will be on the Gospel of Matthew. In this lecture he is speaking to the need for the modern church to abandon its outdated commitment to belief in substitutionary death/atonement theology.

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The Weekly: Bishop John Spong [Extended Interview]

Catch Charlie’s complete, full-length interview with Bishop John Spong.

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Intentional Spirituality: Exploring My Growing Edge – Free Digital Download

Fostering Spiritual Depth in a Busy World

• Small group materials help your members embed greater meaning in their lives.
• Your participants quickly make deep connections with each other.
• Proven materials and techniques help you lead your small group through transformation.

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In The Wake of the Emanuel AME Church Murders

The nine deaths in the mass murder in the Mother Emanuel AME church will not automatically become redemptive suffering. Those deaths may be simply sad victims of senseless, racist, violence unless their deaths inspire transformation. It is up to us. The universe, on its own, is capricious and chaotic, entirely devoid of meaning UNLESS we bring meaning to it.

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Maintain Multiple Pathways to Affiliation

The final stage of an effective membership recruitment process happens when the constituent actually affiliates with your congregation … always remember that recruitment of new constituents isn’t the final stage of membership development. Now you need to work at retaining them and helping God to transform their lives.

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Helping Leads move to “Yes”

Important reminder: Working with Leads will sound familiar. It’s close to what we know how to do. But it’s the third stage in membership development, not the first, and without the hard work of stages one (“Touches”) and two (“Prospects”), this third stage will never happen.

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Connecting with “Prospects”

If “touches” are the many thousands whom your church touches in any way, “prospects” are touches whom you stimulate to take some interest in who you are as a faith community and what you do, especially in mission and ministering to people. Take it as a given that, at this point, they aren’t the least interested in how you worship, the traditions you observe, who presides at your altar, the quality of your facilities, or your history. If that’s all you have to tell them, you are lost.

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Book Review: Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance

“This is Robin Meyers at his pastoral and prophetic best. Read it, and then for the love of God—RESIST!” –Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

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Rethinking Membership Development

A day did exist when a church could grow and thrive by opening its doors on Sunday and welcoming whoever arrived. Knowing how to welcome regulars and visitors was as much evangelism as a congregation needed to do. That day ended long ago. Nowadays, most churches don’t have enough visitors to offset the inevitable attrition that happens when people die, move out of town, or lose interest. And “regular attendance” now means one or two Sundays a month, not three or four.

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Touch Management

No longer can congregations focus all of their energies on Sunday morning worship. They can’t just open the door on Sunday and expect people to walk through. The flow of visitors isn’t enough to compensate for attrition, and people’s needs are too varied.

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Crazy Wisdom

Tom makes the audacious claim here that faith communities are uniquely situated to lead the evolution of human consciousness to help create a more just, caring and sustainable world. Crazy Wisdom is dedicated to answering how we just might go about doing that.

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Faith must fight capitalism: Forget theological purity — the church needs a revolutionary spirit

Excerpted from Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance

The very definition of what it means to be a Christian must be salvaged now, taken back, by force if necessary, from those who domesticated a way of life and turned it into a quarreling quagmire of noisy “believers.” While we fiddle with the meaning of the Trinity, present-day Rome is burning. While we mumble our prayers for the poor, their poverty and pain increase by the hour. While we coddle the industries that ravage the earth for energy and then market death to us disguised as comfort, the conscience of the faithful has been euthanized by public relations campaigns that make us swoon with gratitude for the humanitarian altruism of Big Oil.

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Climate Change and Churches- Sermon Video

“My passion is guiding faith communities to more fully live out the mission of being witnesses to Christ’s peace with justice,” said Rev. Murphy in accepting the appointment to lead PCU. “I see the future of Christianity as modeling a spiritual social movement and see PCU’s role as supporting congregations that seek to be part of that modeling.”

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Our Greatest Challenge: Trying to Be Multi-Generational

I am coming to see that the hardest work facing a church isn’t finances, facilities or failing programs.
The hardest problem is trying to be multi-generational.
That is, trying to nurture a congregation that embraces the elderly, active retirees, middle-aged persons, young adults, youth and children in one fellowship.

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Monthly eBulletin- Personal and World Transformation Through Environmental Stewardship

Personal transformation occurs every time you enter into nature and stop to delight in its inherent divinity. World transformation occurs when we serve and protect our earth home. And, my friends, this CAN be done one person at a time. Our earth heroes and heroines have been showing us the way- it is time for us follow their lead, or become the new leaders for our future generations.

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Church Wellness – 5 Real-World Lessons in Membership Development

Since starting to attend the Episcopal Church nearest to our new home in Upstate New York, I have learned five real-world lessons about membership development.

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Progressive Pastor Seeks to Serve Expat Church

Ordained American pastor experienced in both church start-ups and growing existing churches who’s fluent in Spanish seeks to serve “expat” church in country where Spanish is spoken. The church would have a mission somewhat like this: “To …

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