Articles related to Francis Wong, RNS, Catholic Church, China, Bishops, Leadership, Ordination, Clergy


Bivocational Ministry Can Take Emotional Toll on Ministers
Bivocational Ministry Can Take Emotional Toll on Ministers

By: Jay Lynn
Bivocational ministry is often seen as an ideal solution for struggling churches, but there's another side to this coin. While it may free churches from financial burdens, it presents emotional challenges for ministers.

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7 Pitfalls When Leading Your Church to Change
7 Pitfalls When Leading Your Church to Change

By: Mark Tidsworth
When leaders are ready to lead their congregations to make deep changes, they often underestimate the work that's involved. Leaders often launch change too soon. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid.

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4 Easy Ways to Support Your Church Staff
4 Easy Ways to Support Your Church Staff

By: Joe LaGuardia
When churches aren't adept in conflict management or basic communication skills, they risk abusing staff or draining them to the point of burnout. Here are 4 ways healthy churches support their staff.

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4 Differences Mark Pre-Easter vs Post-Easter Churches
4 Differences Mark Pre-Easter vs Post-Easter Churches

By: Bill Wilson
Pre-Easter churches are marked by discouragement, loss and despair while post-Easter churches are marked by confidence and hope. Is your church living on the right side of Easter?

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7 Healthy Habits of Congregations on Mission
7 Healthy Habits of Congregations on Mission

By: Bill Wilson
While building a congregation's life around a clear vision and purpose is easy to believe in, problems emerge when we talk about how to do it. Here are 7 habits of churches that are on mission.

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Building Up Church Members To Take On Ministry
Building Up Church Members To Take On Ministry

By: Sharon Prior
Many congregations expect their ministry staff to do almost everything, but hopefully those days are coming to an end. Ministers must develop a culture that helps members align their gifts with roles in the church.

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How Your Church Can Transform From Tepid to Robust
How Your Church Can Transform From Tepid to Robust

By: Mark Tidsworth
Some church leaders desire to keep as many people happy as often as possible, but this leads to a watered-down, tepid religion. Here's what your church needs to do to become a robust congregation.

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3 Major Temptations That Rural Ministers Battle
3 Major Temptations That Rural Ministers Battle

By: Jonathan Davis
Rural ministers have unique temptations that threaten to derail them. Unlike their big-city counterparts, these pastors of small-town churches must be on their guard for these temptations.

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Average Age of U.S. Protestant Pastors Trending Upward
Average Age of U.S. Protestant Pastors Trending Upward

By: EthicsDaily Staff
The average age of U.S. pastors is trending upward, moving from 44 years old in 1992 to 54 in 2017, says a new study released by Barna Group and Pepperdine University.

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While Size of Crowds Notable, They Prove Nothing
While Size of Crowds Notable, They Prove Nothing

By: Reggie Warren
Comparing crowd sizes became a surprising focal point following President Trump's inauguration. But what do they mean? Christians in the 21st century should know that the size of crowds mean little.

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Prophetic Priests and Priestly Prophets
Prophetic Priests and Priestly Prophets

By: Guy Sayles
While the priest's work is primarily within the church and the prophet's focus is most often beyond it, we're living in times when these distinctions are breaking down.

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Why You Can't Communicate Enough to Your Church
Why You Can't Communicate Enough to Your Church

By: Dennis Bickers
When churches face change, a leader can't make the mistake of a lack of communication. During change, communication is crucial. Most people in church will do the right thing when they have the right information.

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Does Your Church Need a Recombobulation Area?
Does Your Church Need a Recombobulation Area?

By: Bill Wilson
Going through airport security can leave people discombobulated. Similarly, many congregations are discombobulated by the challenges of being a 21st century church. We need a recombobulation area.

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Is Your Church Asking the Right Questions?
Is Your Church Asking the Right Questions?

By: Ircel Harrison
Many church leaders often review the health of their church with questions that are internally focused. While that's important, you can't stop there. You need to ask externally focused questions. Are you?

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Ways to Worship When Christmas Day Falls on Sunday
Ways to Worship When Christmas Day Falls on Sunday

By: Jerrod Hugenot
With a low church attendance expected when this Christmas Day arrives on a Sunday, what can smaller churches do? One solution could be this different way to try out a Christmas Day hymn sing.

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Why Your Sermon Must Differ From Fake News Sites
Why Your Sermon Must Differ From Fake News Sites

By: Dennis Bickers
With the viral popularity of fake news sites, people are inundated everyday with false, misleading and negative information. When they come to church, they need to hear a message filled with truth and hope.

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Faith-Based Hospital Sends Message of Gratitude to
Faith-Based Hospital Sends Message of Gratitude to "the Least" in Local Community

By: Don Sewell
For the fourth year in a row, 70 Baylor Scott & White Health employees handed out more than 500 Thanksgiving sack lunches to the marginalized.

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6 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Sea Glass
6 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Sea Glass

By: Bill Wilson
Pounded by the waves and roiled in the sand and stones, ordinary glass bottles and containers wash up on beaches, transformed into pieces of art. And they offer six illustrations for what it means to be the church.

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How Your Pastor Can Stay Grounded in Ministry
How Your Pastor Can Stay Grounded in Ministry

By: Dennis Bickers
Many pastors must report on the number of visits they make and committee meetings they attend. But to stay grounded, pastors must focus on the invisibles: prayer, Scripture reading and spiritual direction.

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Why Your Church Needs More Than One Theologian
Why Your Church Needs More Than One Theologian

By: Barry Howard
Your church will be healthier if members are equipped to be good theologians. There are two categories of theology: folk and academic theology. Both are extremely important to the health of the church.

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Christian Reaction to Election: Don't Lose Focus
Christian Reaction to Election: Don't Lose Focus

By: Larry Eubanks
A lot of U.S. Christians are concerned about who won the election - some are jubilant, others despairing. If you're enveloped by either, you've placed your hope in the wrong place and the wrong person.

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Is Your Church Culture Creating New Pastoral Leaders?
Is Your Church Culture Creating New Pastoral Leaders?

By: Bill Wilson
Where are our next pastoral leaders going to come from? They'll come from your church, but only if your church takes seriously their role in creating a healthy culture of call.

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Using the Latest Tools to Communicate the Gospel
Using the Latest Tools to Communicate the Gospel

By: Dennis Bickers
If you want to reach young adults, you won't do it by mailing them your monthly newsletter. That may have worked years ago, but churches must change their communication strategies to reflect the times.

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Beating Burnout: Why Every Moses Needs a Jethro
Beating Burnout: Why Every Moses Needs a Jethro

By: Jim Kelsey
Overcome by other tasks, some pastors lose that gripping purpose that once consumed their imagination and called forth the best they had to give. They need someone who can help them claim their original calling.

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Healthy Congregations Know When to Adapt - Part 2
Healthy Congregations Know When to Adapt - Part 2

By: Mark Tidsworth
Every church is engaging in the adaptive process, given the large-scale changes happening all around us. Some are intentional, some haphazard. Here are 7 types of churches positioned for adaptive change.

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Healthy Congregations Know When to Adapt - Part 1
Healthy Congregations Know When to Adapt - Part 1

By: Mark Tidsworth
While some churches want to cling onto their cherished practices or the way they've always done things, healthy churches learn to adapt. Here are 9 indicators your church faces roadblocks to change.

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Why Great Churches Are Like Your Best Vacation
Why Great Churches Are Like Your Best Vacation

By: Bill Wilson
Most churches are unable to offer a clear purpose that's shared and embraced with passion by many of their people. That's why pushing people to purpose is a necessary and invaluable process for leaders.

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5 Lessons Learned by a Local Church Pastor
5 Lessons Learned by a Local Church Pastor

By: Matt Sapp
Pastors have many lessons they've learned over the course of their ministry. One local pastor shares five of them. The first one? Slow and steady wins the race. Church work is no sprint.

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7 Signs of Movement-Focused Churches
7 Signs of Movement-Focused Churches

By: Bill Wilson
Healthy churches recognize that the era of programming is giving way to a season in which we rediscover our movement roots. Does your church still push programs or is it working to launch and sustain a movement?

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Should Pastors Endorse Presidential Candidates?
Should Pastors Endorse Presidential Candidates?

By: Brian Kaylor
Christians do not owe their chief loyalty to either political party. By publicly endorsing a candidate, pastors will tie their own credibility - and their churches' credibility and witness - to what that candidate says or does.

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Is Your Church Like Cut Flowers?
Is Your Church Like Cut Flowers?

By: Bill Wilson
Some churches are like cut flowers, beautiful but facing a future of slow decline. Churches should strive to be like garden perennials, springing up year after year, rather than "flash in the pan" annuals.

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4 Rules on Talking Politics in Sunday School
4 Rules on Talking Politics in Sunday School

By: Tony Brooks
If you lead a Sunday school class, your role is to discuss issues based on Scripture. As the political season heats up, discussion will turn toward politics. Here are 4 rules to manage those conversations.

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Setting Goals to Map Out Your Church's Future
Setting Goals to Map Out Your Church's Future

By: Ircel Harrison
Churches planning for the future need to set goals to map out how they'll reach their destination. There will always be those who resist goals. Here are ways to answer those objections.

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Reaffirming Church Unity Amid Diverse Political Views
Reaffirming Church Unity Amid Diverse Political Views

By: Danny Chisholm
Many churches are not uniform when it comes to political views. We are a tapestry of different political, social and theological positions. This political season, we must reaffirm what unifies us amid diverse views.

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Taking the Long View: Lessons from 17-Year Locusts
Taking the Long View: Lessons from 17-Year Locusts

By: Joel Snider
Our lives are consumed by the 'tyranny of the urgent,' those things that get in our way and demand attention. Instead, as the 17-year locust reminds us, the long view of life is the healthiest and most effective.

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Which Set of Questions Best Defines Your Church?
Which Set of Questions Best Defines Your Church?

By: Mark Tidsworth
When it comes to church, there are driving questions behind and underneath everything we do. Of these two question sets - one foundational, the other organizational - which one drives your church?

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When Anxiety Attacks: 3 Questions to Correct Your Course
When Anxiety Attacks: 3 Questions to Correct Your Course

By: Bill Wilson
Christians often talk about how God is always good yet live anxious and obsessed lives. That gap between rhetoric and actions is at the heart of the dysfunction of many local churches and individual Christians.

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12 Healthy Trends Emerging in Revitalizing Churches
12 Healthy Trends Emerging in Revitalizing Churches

By: Barry Howard
Does your church need to be revitalized? It is a process of restoring a healthy vision, good congregational morale and a sustainable model for engaging in mission and ministry. Here are 12 healthy trends.

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Spiritual Fitness Tracker: How to Get Your '10,000 Steps'
Spiritual Fitness Tracker: How to Get Your '10,000 Steps'

By: David Hull
Personal fitness trackers are in demand and are a great way to measure our fitness goals to reach 10,000 daily steps. What if you could wear a spiritual fitness tracker? What would it measure?

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Australian Baptist Leader's Long-Term, Healthy Ministry Tips
Australian Baptist Leader's Long-Term, Healthy Ministry Tips

By: EthicsDaily Staff
How does a pastor 'stay fresh' after a 40-year ministry with the same church? Bill Brown, senior pastor of Syndal Baptist Church in Australia, shared his insights in a video interview with EthicsDaily.com.

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Video Interviews Highlight Global Baptists
Video Interviews Highlight Global Baptists

By: EthicsDaily Staff
As Baptists from 50 nations gathered in Canada last week for the Baptists World Alliance annual gathering, EthicsDaily.com shot video interviews with Baptist leaders from around the globe.

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7 Changes the Future Holds for Local Churches
7 Changes the Future Holds for Local Churches

By: Dennis Bickers
Churches are in transition, similar to a trapeze artist who has let go of one swing and is suspended midair while the next swing approaches. Here are 7 changes the approaching future holds.

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'A Beautiful Constraint'
'A Beautiful Constraint'

By: Guy Sayles
Constraints can be 'beautiful' opportunities. When determination and commitment clash with limits and constraint, that energy can help us consider changes we've previously been unwilling to make.

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Millennials Will Soon Step into Church Leadership
Millennials Will Soon Step into Church Leadership

By: Dennis Bickers
Millennials will soon begin to step into leadership roles in every organization including churches. But they won't be content to manage like current leadership. They want to lead and make a difference.

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10 Reflections Gleaned from a Decade of Pastoring
10 Reflections Gleaned from a Decade of Pastoring

By: Chris Smith
Pastoring can be daunting, painful, disappointing and down-right depressing. It can also offer times of great fulfillment, joy, peace and gladness. Here are 10 lessons I've learned on the journey.

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10 Confessions of a Middle-Aged Pastor
10 Confessions of a Middle-Aged Pastor

By: Barry Howard
Confession is good for the soul, they say. So here are 10 confessions from one pastor about what he believes about church and ministry after 37 years of service.

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What's Your Church's Blind Spot?
What's Your Church's Blind Spot?

By: Bill Wilson
We all have blind spots, but so do our churches. Churches ignore their blind spots at their own peril; they are an early warning system for more complicated issues ahead.

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Your Pastor as the Church's Chief Celebration Officer
Your Pastor as the Church's Chief Celebration Officer

By: Mark Tidsworth
Does your church celebrate the good things? An important element of pastoral leadership is to ask: How are we doing with celebrating God's good work in and through our congregations?

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When Your Church Dives into Despair, Try 20-Year Test
When Your Church Dives into Despair, Try 20-Year Test

By: Bill Wilson
A calamity arises in every church. Many react by proclaiming it's the worst thing to ever happen. Instead of bemoaning the church's imminent doom, those church folks need to take the 20-Year Test.

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Pastor as CEO? All the Perks; Zero Accountability
Pastor as CEO? All the Perks; Zero Accountability

By: Joe LaGuardia
Many in the pastoral profession desire all the perks of being a CEO in a local church but refuse to be held accountable to the same standards as CEOs in the business world.

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The Leadership Crisis Faced by Smaller Churches
The Leadership Crisis Faced by Smaller Churches

By: Dennis Bickers
Finding qualified persons for smaller churches is often a struggle. Unfortunately, many pastors refuse to serve smaller churches. For many of these churches, the answer may be sitting in their pews.

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Whose Heart Will You Wake Up Today?
Whose Heart Will You Wake Up Today?

By: Jim Kelsey
People with no interest in religious faith aren't bad or rejecters of God. They simply do not fully appreciate what lies dormant within them. We can wake up their hearts.

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An Example of Christian Leadership You're Not Expecting
An Example of Christian Leadership You're Not Expecting

By: Stuart Blythe
Think of models of leadership in the Bible and several names come to mind: Abraham, Joseph, David. Another individual in the Bible is a model leader, even though he's not foremost on many lists.

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8 Mistakes Ministers Make When Leading Adaptive Change
8 Mistakes Ministers Make When Leading Adaptive Change

By: Mark Tidsworth
Pastoral leaders are at their most vulnerable when attempting to lead major changes in their churches. Here are eight common pitfalls made by many ministers when initiating changes.

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Effective Pastoral Leadership Isn't What It Used To Be
Effective Pastoral Leadership Isn't What It Used To Be

By: Mark Tidsworth
How can pastors know if they're effective leaders? The answer may depend on the culture of their churches. Are they stable and content or adaptable and fluid? One needs a statesman, the other a movement leader.

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Standing Up to Rhetoric from Bullying Politicians
Standing Up to Rhetoric from Bullying Politicians

By: Sean McKenzie
Some political candidates are engaging in divisive rhetoric, notably against immigrants, as part of their grab for power. They are modern-day playground bullies, and we must stand up to them.

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7 Ways to Develop Leaders for Your Small Church
7 Ways to Develop Leaders for Your Small Church

By: Dennis Bickers
Leaders, including pastors, are responsible for growing other leaders. This is especially true in smaller churches because many of them struggle to find pastors.

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Decision Lessons for Pastors from President Bush
Decision Lessons for Pastors from President Bush

By: Dennis Bickers
Regardless of your feelings for President George W. Bush, his book, "Decision Points," highlights his thinking of some of the decisions in office. It's a good lesson for pastors who have to make tough decisions.

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4 Steps on How Pastors Should Handle Politics in Pulpit
4 Steps on How Pastors Should Handle Politics in Pulpit

By: Barry Howard
The pulpit is a place to accent the privilege and responsibility of choosing our leaders, not a place to dictate the decision. Here are four steps for pastors who want to encourage good citizenship from the pulpit.

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Does Your Church Care About Those Who Wander?
Does Your Church Care About Those Who Wander?

By: Bill Wilson
Rather than spending time judging others so that we feel better about ourselves, churches are called to go out and find those who have wandered from God's dream for their lives and bring them back.

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Can Civility Be Restored in American Politics?
Can Civility Be Restored in American Politics?

By: Robert Parham
Incivility and profanity are running rampant in the GOP primary season, with Donald Trump leading the pack. The same woes are surfacing on the Democratic side. Can churches help restore civility?

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The Dangers When Ministers Endorse Presidential Hopefuls
The Dangers When Ministers Endorse Presidential Hopefuls

By: Danny Chisholm
Ministers create inherent dangers when they endorse presidential candidates. It sets ministers up for disappointment, confuses and alienates laity and exaggerates pastors' influence.

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Every Church Must Adapt to Process of Change
Every Church Must Adapt to Process of Change

By: Mark Tidsworth
Recognize it or not, like it or not, all congregations are currently in the change process. The question then is about adaptation: How effectively will you navigate these white waters of change?

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7 Core Areas to Assess Your Church's Health
7 Core Areas to Assess Your Church's Health

By: Larry McSwain
How healthy is your church? That will vary based on several factors, including socioeconomic status and location. But here are seven core markers to see how your church fares during its checkup.

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10 Insights to Handle Church Conflict Agreeably
10 Insights to Handle Church Conflict Agreeably

By: Bill Wilson
Many clergy aren't prepared to navigate conflict and intense conversations. If that includes you, here are 10 insights to help you work through that next difficult round of criticism.

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10 Qualities for Our Nation's Next President
10 Qualities for Our Nation's Next President

By: Terry Austin
What personal traits and skills are important for the next president of the United States? No matter what their political party, we need someone with the qualities to identify the best approach to the issues.

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11 Characteristics the Church Needs in Leaders Today
11 Characteristics the Church Needs in Leaders Today

By: Renée Embree
To be effective in today's culture, the church desperately needs leaders with deep character and faithful competence to help the church go from where it is today to where it needs to be for tomorrow.

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Is Your Church's Ministry Aligned with Your Vision?
Is Your Church's Ministry Aligned with Your Vision?

By: Dennis Bickers
Most churches have no sense of a clear vision for ministry. And those that do typically have a vision that's so fuzzy or generic that it's unhelpful. Start the new year right with a clear vision.

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3 Ways Pastors Learn to Trust Their Churches
3 Ways Pastors Learn to Trust Their Churches

By: Mark Tidsworth
Trust is a two-way street. While much attention has focused on building the congregation's trust in the pastor, there's been less focus on building the pastor's trust in the church.

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When Speaking the Truth Isn't Always Appropriate
When Speaking the Truth Isn't Always Appropriate

By: Ron Rolheiser
Having the truth is one thing, speaking it in a place and a manner that's helpful is quite another. Simply put, it isn't always helpful or charitable or mature to throw a truth into someone's face.

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What Leaders Need to Help Thriving Churches Change
What Leaders Need to Help Thriving Churches Change

By: Paul Beasley-Murray
When a church needs to change, it requires careful preparation and persuasion. The wise leader needs to recognize that change in church life needs time and patience.

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5 Signs of Invigorated, Engaged Pastors
5 Signs of Invigorated, Engaged Pastors

By: Mark Tidsworth
Exceptional pastoral leaders are not few and far between. Everyone can be or become an effective pastoral leader. Here are five characteristics of invigorated and engaged clergy.

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The State of Clergy: Learned Helplessness
The State of Clergy: Learned Helplessness

By: Mark Tidsworth
Many clergy experience periods of learned helplessness, entrenched in their belief that nothing will change. How do you make sure it's only one stop on your vocational journey?

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How Ministers Can Beat Feelings of Exhaustion
How Ministers Can Beat Feelings of Exhaustion

By: Bill Wilson
Ministry leaders are marked by fatigue and weariness. Their work is both deeply rewarding and immensely frustrating. When you feel exhausted or isolated, find those folks who will lift you up.

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The Reason Your Pastor May Be Afraid
The Reason Your Pastor May Be Afraid

By: Mark Tidsworth
Churches today are in transition. When transition leads to negative changes, we look to leaders for answers and often blame them for the change. No wonder pastors are fearful.

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How Churches Can Measure Their Significance
How Churches Can Measure Their Significance

By: Griff Martin
Many churches are facing serious struggles or are in decline. Instead of measuring success by numbers, money, fame or power, churches must begin to measure their significance. Here's how.

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Lessons in Leadership from the Political Process
Lessons in Leadership from the Political Process

By: Guy Sayles
Our political process offers many valuable - albeit negative - lessons for church leaders. However, politics does teach us the importance of fashioning networks and coalitions, all for the common good.

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6 Ways to Make Your Ministry Last for Long Haul
6 Ways to Make Your Ministry Last for Long Haul

By: Dennis Bickers
Increasingly, many people leave the ministry before retirement. The average seminary grad exits within five years of graduating. These six practices will help you remain in ministry.

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The Most Important Staffing Position in Your Church
The Most Important Staffing Position in Your Church

By: Bill Wilson
Churches have succeeded by offering programs to attract folks to them, but those days are dying. Churches need someone to help them go to their communities.

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 3 Hard Realities about Your Church's Future
3 Hard Realities about Your Church's Future

By: Mark Tidsworth
When churches struggle to survive, its members want to save it. Such motives are natural and healthy. But we must face the reality that God's mission focuses on the world, not any individual church.

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Growing Potatoes on Mars: 12 Lessons for Your Church
Growing Potatoes on Mars: 12 Lessons for Your Church

By: Barry Howard
In the novel-turned-movie "The Martian," an astronaut stranded on Mars must learn to grow potatoes for his survival. His task illustrates 12 lessons for the church and its survival.

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6 Ways Your Church Should Invest in People
6 Ways Your Church Should Invest in People

By: Ircel Harrison
Church programs come and go. Buildings often become a burden rather than a resource. Strategies rise and fall. But churches wanting the best return on investment should focus on people. People will endure.

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The Reason Your Church Struggles with Growth
The Reason Your Church Struggles with Growth

By: Darren Blaney
Why do so many churches not grow? Most would rather keep the peace and let malcontents rule the day. Healthy churches and leaders know how to manage conflict.

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3 Things that Pope Francis Taught Us about Jesus
3 Things that Pope Francis Taught Us about Jesus

By: Elizabeth Evans Hagan
During his visit to the U.S., Pope Francis proved once again he was a refreshing man of the people. He modeled how Jesus loves unconditionally, isn't afraid to do the work and calls us to elevate the unseen.

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The Secret to Pull Your Small Church Out of Mediocrity
The Secret to Pull Your Small Church Out of Mediocrity

By: Dennis Bickers
Smaller churches offer all kinds of excuses why some programs or ministries are not effective; the bottom line is they just do not have the resources to do more than a few things.

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Shaping Theological Ideas to Meet Daily Life's Needs
Shaping Theological Ideas to Meet Daily Life's Needs

By: Zach Dawes
To ensure a vibrant Christian witness, academic theologians and congregational ministers must continually work together to bridge the gap between doctrine and daily life.

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How Your Church Resembles New-Car Technology
How Your Church Resembles New-Car Technology

By: Matt Sapp
People love technology that makes a car safer, more reliable or more comfortable. But if new technology isn't directly applied to the car's core purpose, most folks can take it or leave it. It's the same with the church.

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8 Questions for Churches Stuck in 'Post-Everything' Mode
8 Questions for Churches Stuck in 'Post-Everything' Mode

By: Mark Tidsworth
We seem to live in a "post-this," "post-that" and "post-everything" culture. Instead of lamenting the demise of church-as-we-have-known-it, can churches learn how to connect with culture?

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Why God Wants Your Church to Grow
Why God Wants Your Church to Grow

By: Paul Beasley-Murray
While it's true that church isn't all about the numbers, there's nothing wrong in reflecting on how we can be more effective in growing churches. God wants churches to grow.

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3 Questions About What Matters at Your Church
3 Questions About What Matters at Your Church

By: John Rackley
Does your church live out God's mission for it or does your church exist to find new members to keep it going? Here are three questions to help you determine if your vision is out of focus.

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5 Things Pastors Need to Stop Doing Now
5 Things Pastors Need to Stop Doing Now

By: Bill Owen
Being an effective pastor is not easy. Even outstanding pastors face days where self-doubt, fear and uncertainty nip at their heels. When those days come, here are five things you need to stop doing.

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5 Keys to Help Your Church Achieve Grander Vision
5 Keys to Help Your Church Achieve Grander Vision

By: Matt Sapp
Churches have been reluctant to embrace new vision at the speed necessary to keep up with the shifting culture - and we're seeing rapid church decline as the inevitable result.

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How to Change Your Church When They Resist Change
How to Change Your Church When They Resist Change

By: Dennis Bickers
Most church members are very content with the status quo and resistant to change. If you want change in your church, you need to identify the ones that want change and groom them for leadership.

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Helping Church Leaders Recover from Leadership Scars
Helping Church Leaders Recover from Leadership Scars

By: Guy Sayles
Many church leaders, both clergy and laity, have leadership scars, difficult reminders of wounds they received when they attempted to offer their leadership gifts. We need to help them heal.

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Is Your Church Fragile or Agile?
Is Your Church Fragile or Agile?

By: Bill Wilson
Developing a church vision statement shouldn't be a cumbersome task. A lean final document can emphasize future direction and leave much of the implementation for future teams to decide.

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Horizontal and Vertical Churches: Where's the Balance?
Horizontal and Vertical Churches: Where's the Balance?

By: Roger Olson
Some churches relate to God horizontally through fellowship and healthy relationships; other relate to God vertically through worship and spiritual practices. They key is to find the balance.

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Churches Need Realistic Expectations for Pastor
Churches Need Realistic Expectations for Pastor

By: Joe LaGuardia
Full-time pastoral ministry is one of the last professions in which a person has to be competent in multiple skill sets while being paid a salary well below that of other professions.

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The 3 Balancing Acts of Leadership
The 3 Balancing Acts of Leadership

By: Kevin Hagan
If you want to be a leader who fulfills your promises and accomplishes tasks in line with the mission of your organization, then you must start with clarity. Here are three balancing acts every leader faces.

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4 Ways Your Church Can Enlarge Its 'Bandwidth'
4 Ways Your Church Can Enlarge Its 'Bandwidth'

By: Larry McSwain
What's your church's bandwidth? We're not talking about your computers or anything technical. Every congregation has a certain amount of bandwidth in fulfilling its dreams for the future.

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3 Principles Church Leaders Can Learn from Machiavelli
3 Principles Church Leaders Can Learn from Machiavelli

By: Terrell Carter
Church leaders face an increasing maze of challenges in a society growing more secular. While he had his flaws, Machiavelli has three pieces of advice that are relevant for local church leaders.

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Coach's 3-Prong Philosophy Applies to Churches
Coach's 3-Prong Philosophy Applies to Churches

By: Guy Sayles
Legendary UNC Coach Dean Smith had a three-prong philosophy for his teams: play hard, play smart, play together. And that's not a bad philosophy for churches, too.

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4 Ways Your Church Can Be a Healthy Family
4 Ways Your Church Can Be a Healthy Family

By: Joel Snider
Those attributes that make healthy family relationships also create healthy church relationships. Here are four ways your church can model healthy family dynamics in the congregation.

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Where Smaller Churches Can Find Their Next Pastor
Where Smaller Churches Can Find Their Next Pastor

By: Dennis Bickers
Some congregations spend too much time looking for persons with degrees and formal education. The next pastor or staff member of your small church may be already sitting in your pews.

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Why Many Churches Have a Common Core Christianity
Why Many Churches Have a Common Core Christianity

By: Joe LaGuardia
Common Core provides national benchmarks for students. With so many churchgoers lacking basic bible knowledge, many churches must take a Common Core approach from the pulpit.

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Building Bridges with Asset-Based Pastoral Leadership
Building Bridges with Asset-Based Pastoral Leadership

By: Rhonda Abbott Blevins
Asset-based pastoral leadership begins with developing a simple habit: With each parishioner, find out something he or she could teach and something he or she wants to learn.

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No Matter Where You Serve in Church, We're All Together
No Matter Where You Serve in Church, We're All Together

By: David Fitch
Some folks serve their church in traditional organized functions; others serve outside the church walls. Both groups must come together in a way that's seamless and represents a whole of way of life.

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Will Your Church Turn the World Upside Down?
Will Your Church Turn the World Upside Down?

By: Bill Wilson
Turning the world upside down is risky business for churches. They must be ready to weigh new ideas, suggest alternatives, propose new methods or raise questions. And some folks won't like it.

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2 Important Skills for Church Leaders
2 Important Skills for Church Leaders

By: Guy Sayles
Effective leaders need two important skills when leading a church. They need to be able to motivate members to take a hill and they need to be able to discern which hills to take.

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Why Pastors Must Accept and Live Within Their Limits
Why Pastors Must Accept and Live Within Their Limits

By: Danny Chisholm
Speed limit signs remind us of our limitations. One of the most difficult aspects of being a church minister is realizing that you have limits and must live within them.

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3 Steps That Flourishing Churches Will Take
3 Steps That Flourishing Churches Will Take

By: Mark Tidsworth
The North American Christian church is losing its cultural majority status and privilege, along with its influence in the public square. The churches that flourish will practice these three things.

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Does Your Church Function as a Green-Light Church?
Does Your Church Function as a Green-Light Church?

By: Bill Wilson
Churches used to be a source of entrepreneurship, but many have abandoned that spirit and are in survival mode. Instead of being a green-light church where ideas are born, they're stuck in yellow and red.

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Training the Church's Next Generation of Leaders
Training the Church's Next Generation of Leaders

By: Ircel Harrison
It's not enough to identify and disciple leaders for the church. Leaders need to invest their time to mentor young leaders who will in turn invest their time training the following generation.

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Your Church Must Choose: Window or Aisle Seat?
Your Church Must Choose: Window or Aisle Seat?

By: Bill Owen
You may feel cramped in the window seat of a flight, but you have a great view of the world. The aisle seat offers far more comfort. Metaphorically speaking, many churches prefer the aisle seat.

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Guardian or Gardener? Which Describes Your Church?
Guardian or Gardener? Which Describes Your Church?

By: David Hull
Churches are either guardians or gardeners. Is yours protecting the ministries that were planted yesterday or digging new soil, planting new seeds and pruning back the old so that new growth can occur?

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The Danger When Your Church Keeps Secrets
The Danger When Your Church Keeps Secrets

By: Dennis Bickers
Church leaders sometimes keep secrets from congregations, often thinking they are protecting the church. When those secrets are exposed, trust is broken. Here's how to rebuild that trust.

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How to Lose the Next Generation of Church Leaders
How to Lose the Next Generation of Church Leaders

By: Ircel Harrison
If your congregation wants to enlist and nurture a new generation of church leaders, it won't happen by putting them on committees, especially if most of those assignments don't provide any sense of fulfillment.

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Why Some Successful Pastors See Themselves Negatively
Why Some Successful Pastors See Themselves Negatively

By: Mark Tidsworth
Some pastors tend to discount their competence and success. When pastors believe God has given them what they need in order to serve well, they lead more effectively.

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6 Ways for Ministers to Build Trust, Transparency
6 Ways for Ministers to Build Trust, Transparency

By: Paul Beasley-Murray
Pastors should be prepared to give an account of their ministry to the lay leaders of their churches. Here are six ways that pastors and churches can build trust and transparency.

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Why Radical Islam Doesn't Matter - Part 2
Why Radical Islam Doesn't Matter - Part 2

By: Philip Jenkins
ISIS is not and never has been the West's greatest threat. In any political or military sense, they remain a fleabite. Will we heed the international dangers that actually could annihilate us?

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Why Radical Islam Doesn't Matter – Part 1
Why Radical Islam Doesn't Matter – Part 1
By: Philip Jenkins
Neither Iran nor any Islamist terror groups threatens the survival of the U.S for the foreseeable future. Our government should focus on the two nations that do pose such a danger.
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When a Church is Not Really a Church
When a Church is Not Really a Church
By: Larry Eubanks
The church needs to gather together, but they should be so much more than just people who gather for worship and prayer. The church is a group of people with a common mission out in the world.
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Despite What Churches Think, Bigger Isn't Better
Despite What Churches Think, Bigger Isn't Better

By: Colin Sedgwick
Too many pastors and church members believe that size is the supreme mark of "success" in church life. What if we made our true priority being the most loving, Spirit-filled or prayerful?

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How Your Church Can Help Our Society Trust Again
How Your Church Can Help Our Society Trust Again
By: Joe LaGuardia and Karen Woods
Clashes between protesters and police officers illustrate the growing distrust that rules our society. When distrust breeds disharmony and violence, how can churches step in to provide reconciliation?
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The Key to Successful Leadership in Small Churches
The Key to Successful Leadership in Small Churches

By: Dennis Bickers
To effectively lead a small church, you must first find out who are the influential members. In order to be effective, you must be willing to lead through the leaders.

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Measured Thought vs. Shooting from the Hip
Measured Thought vs. Shooting from the Hip
By: Colin Harris
Any faith can be guilty of horrendous atrocities; no faith can be rightly evaluated in terms of what extremists do in its name. When someone in authority gives this measured response, it's labeled as indecisive.
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When Ministers Ignore Ethical Boundaries
When Ministers Ignore Ethical Boundaries
By: Ircel Harrison
Certain boundary issues – money, relationships, time management –are often overlooked in ministerial training. Why do good leaders ignore common sense and fail to observe boundaries?
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The Two Most Dangerous Words Spoken in Church
The Two Most Dangerous Words Spoken in Church
By: Bill Wilson
Two words uttered back to back are the most dangerous in church. They indicate that we believe we are exceptions to the rule. But three steps can put us on the right track.
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Brian Williams and 8 Lessons in Leadership Credibility
Brian Williams and 8 Lessons in Leadership Credibility
By: Dennis Bickers
NBC's Brian Williams' situation offers an important reminder: To be successful in leadership, you must earn the trust of those you serve. Without credibility, you can't earn that trust.
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3 Habits to Help Your Church Develop Disciples
3 Habits to Help Your Church Develop Disciples
By: Mark Tidsworth
Developing each other and ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ is one of the unique roles of God's church. Here are three ways your church can begin to develop disciples.
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8 Lessons Learned as EthicsDaily.com's Managing Editor
8 Lessons Learned as EthicsDaily.com's Managing Editor

By: Zach Dawes
After serving two years as EthicsDaily.com's managing editor, Zach Dawes shares eight leadership lessons he's learned. Some may apply to your area of service.

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3 Ways Pastors Earn the Right to Be Prophetic
3 Ways Pastors Earn the Right to Be Prophetic
By: Mark Tidsworth
When a pastor tells a church they're falling short of where they should be, is it out of frustration and anger or from a loving desire to speak a prophetic truth? Here are three ways to know.
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Why Americans are Wrong to Shrug Off Torture
Why Americans are Wrong to Shrug Off Torture

By: Zach Dawes
Most Americans believe our use of torture is justified, a survey found. But torture is always immoral, and information obtained through torture, even if it does save the lives of many, does not make it a moral act.

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Pope's Uncomfortable Truth Reminds Us Who We Are
Pope's Uncomfortable Truth Reminds Us Who We Are
By: Colin Harris
Pope Francis called on church leaders to engage in a radical recommitment to Christian justice and move away from comfort and privilege. His prophetic message should resonate with all faiths.
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How Your Church Will Benefit from Networking
How Your Church Will Benefit from Networking
By: Ircel Harrison
Networking – sharing information with others – is essential for leaders of 21st century organizations. Churches will reap the benefits if they find ways to institutionalize networking in their congregations.
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Advent: Perfect Time for Churches to Pursue Vision
Advent: Perfect Time for Churches to Pursue Vision
By: Bill Wilson
Healthy churches start with a powerful, shared vision that captures God's dream for them and then work tirelessly to embrace it across every aspect of congregational life.
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How British Government Betrayed Hong Kong Protesters
How British Government Betrayed Hong Kong Protesters

By: Vinoth Ramachandra
The British government signed a treaty with China to ensure Hong Kong's core values, including freedom of speech and assembly, until 2047. But as recent Hong Kong protests were broken up, Britain was mum.

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4 Types of Leadership Needed in Missional Churches
4 Types of Leadership Needed in Missional Churches
By: Ircel Harrison
God gives different abilities and gifts to each of us. Churches must rely on a diversity of leadership if they want to become truly missional. Here are four types of leadership they'll need.
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How Christians Should Engage Their Culture
How Christians Should Engage Their Culture
By: Ircel Harrison
When Christians respond to culture, they can curse the darkness or light a candle. Too often, they're trained to attack. Instead, we should engage the culture. The Apostle Paul shows us how.
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Vocational Ministry Takes Toll on Many Ministers
Vocational Ministry Takes Toll on Many Ministers

By: Travis Collins
The church needs servant leaders who are living out a biblical model for that ministry. Vocational ministry is hard and many ministers suffer abuse from churches, but they're not all innocent victims.

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The Type of Leadership Ferguson Needs Now
The Type of Leadership Ferguson Needs Now
By: Terrell Carter
In the aftermath of the decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, the Ferguson community will seek out leaders. Here is who they need and don't need.
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The Need for a Seat at the Table in Ferguson
The Need for a Seat at the Table in Ferguson

By: Terrell Carter
To quell the civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, the perceived oppression must be acknowledged by all parties. Leaders must be transparent and offer a seat at the decision-making table to community members.

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Personality-Driven Churches Can't Thrive for Long Term
Personality-Driven Churches Can't Thrive for Long Term
By: Brock Ratcliff
A church should not break apart when a pastor leaves, yet many large churches are built around a single personality. When church members don't have a sense of ownership, they're rendered to consumer status.
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5 Dangerous Paths for Ministers Under Pressure
5 Dangerous Paths for Ministers Under Pressure
By: Bill Wilson
While everyone wrestles with some degree of career frustration, clergy are increasingly identified as especially prone to struggle. When the pressure is too great, these five paths lead to devastation.
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When It's OK for Your Pastor to Break Confidentiality
When It's OK for Your Pastor to Break Confidentiality
By: Reggie Warren
If ministers can't keep confidences in the churches where they serve, trust is quickly broken. But there are times when a minister must go public with information someone wants kept secret.
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Top 10 Reasons This Will Never Work: Leading Change in Church
Top 10 Reasons This Will Never Work: Leading Change in Church
By: David Fitch
If churches are reluctant to do one thing, it's change. And pastors have heard every reason imaginable why doing something new will never work. Here is one pastor's list of the top 10 excuses.
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7 Tips to Help Burned-Out Pastors
7 Tips to Help Burned-Out Pastors
By: Griff Martin
More often than not, pastors are tired and burned out from their church ministries rather than content and satisfied. Can this trend turn around? Consider this confession from a happy pastor.
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What Kind of Leader Does Your Church Need?
What Kind of Leader Does Your Church Need?

By: Darren Blaney
The Bible isn't concerned about churches being led by charismatic leaders sharing the vision and achieving goals. Its focus is on godly men and women helping others become godly men and women.

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Forcing New Ministry Methods into Old Structures
Forcing New Ministry Methods into Old Structures
By: Ircel Harrison
When new ways of doing ministry are forced into yesterday's old models, only waste and damage can result. The Bible did warn us what happens when we pour new wine into old wineskins.
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3 Ways You Can Live by the Compass, Not the Clock
3 Ways You Can Live by the Compass, Not the Clock
By: Bill Wilson
Most people – and churches – live by the clock, racing from event to event to meet expectations. Instead, we need to live by the compass, learning to anticipate and reflect, rather than react.
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These Stats Shine Light on Local Church Health
These Stats Shine Light on Local Church Health
By: Bill Wilson
While the sobering statistics and gloomy projections about the health of the local church have clergy and lay leaders wringing their hands, don't neglect these hopeful trends.
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6 Lessons I Learned Returning to the Pastorate
6 Lessons I Learned Returning to the Pastorate
By: Ronnie Brewer
After spending almost three years in denominational work, a minister transitioned back to pastor a local church. The six lessons he learned may also apply to other churches.
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What Your Congregation Can Learn from Common Core
What Your Congregation Can Learn from Common Core
By: Brock Ratcliff
Contrary to what others may think, Common Core is not an invasion by the federal government into our children's classrooms. And Common Core has a lesson for your church.
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3 Ways You Can Help Ferguson's Residents
3 Ways You Can Help Ferguson's Residents
By: Terrell Carter
Life for residents in Ferguson, Missouri, has slowed to somewhat of a grinding and frustrating halt. What can we do to help the people who live there? Consider these three things.
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Let's Reserve Martyrdom for Real Martyrs
Let's Reserve Martyrdom for Real Martyrs
By: Bill Wilson
We're tempted to see our own issues as supremely important, but we would be wise to remember that many other folks are facing far more challenging difficulties in their own lives.
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Does Your Church Have a Trusting Leadership Culture?
Does Your Church Have a Trusting Leadership Culture?
By: Bill Wilson
The hardest part of ministry for many leaders is staff trust. While no magic pill will solve the issue, there are best practices and habits that can create a healthier church culture.
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Asking Wrong Questions About Bivocational Ministry
Asking Wrong Questions About Bivocational Ministry
By: Dennis Bickers
Many people have misconceptions about bivocational ministry, even seminary students. Here are some of the wrong questions that church members and leaders often ask.
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The Most Critical Time in the Life of Small Churches
The Most Critical Time in the Life of Small Churches
By: Dennis Bickers
When smaller churches search for a new pastor, they often want to fill the void as quickly as possible. They're better off without a pastor for a longer time than to call the wrong person.
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How to Ensure Your Church Staff is the Right Size
How to Ensure Your Church Staff is the Right Size
By: Larry McSwain
With the majority of churches plateaued or declining, congregations need to do some fresh thinking about how to realign their staffing levels so they remain healthy and effective.
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People Rarely Radically Change; They Need Nudges
People Rarely Radically Change; They Need Nudges
By: Bob Browning
Church members can take a frustratingly long time to make decisions that change their personal lives as well as the church. Don't expect overnight transformations. Learn to nudge people a little at a time.
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Why Churches Need But Don't Want Revitalization
Why Churches Need But Don't Want Revitalization
By: Dennis Bickers
Most churches are either declining or plateaued and need to be revitalized. However, church revitalization requires a willingness to change, and change does not come easy for many churches.
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How to Overcome the Challenges of Church Leadership
How to Overcome the Challenges of Church Leadership
By: Dennis Bickers
Ministers are called to the greatest opportunity that exists, but that doesn't mean the work comes without challenges. Here's how you can transform those challenges into joyful opportunities.
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How Will Your Church Respond to the Fire Below?
How Will Your Church Respond to the Fire Below?
By: Bill Wilson
Burning platform syndrome. It's what organizations go through as they consider change. We jump off the "platform" when the pain or danger of staying exceeds the pain or danger of making a change.
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7 Suggestions for Pastors Leaving Their Churches
7 Suggestions for Pastors Leaving Their Churches
By: Mark Tidsworth
Leaving a church for retirement or another ministry is a hard transition. Pastors must be able to let go and trust their church into God's care as expressed through the next pastors and staff members.
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Why Your Minister Should Be Like Your Physical Therapist
Why Your Minister Should Be Like Your Physical Therapist
By: Bill Wilson
A good pastor is like a physical therapist. Both push you to do things you often don't want to do, but they know that what you need is more important than what you want.
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William Tolbert Jr.'s Triple Legacy to Liberia
William Tolbert Jr.'s Triple Legacy to Liberia

By: Richard Wilson
William Tolbert Jr., leader of Liberia and former Baptist World Alliance president, was assassinated in 1980, but his legacy lives on through the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary's lecture series.

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Why Many Churches Aren't Developing Effective Leaders
Why Many Churches Aren't Developing Effective Leaders
By: Dennis Bickers
Nothing good can happen in organizations without effective leaders. For churches to enjoy an effective ministry over years, future leaders must be filling its pipeline in various stages of development.
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Effective Church Leaders Must Anticipate Change
Effective Church Leaders Must Anticipate Change
By: Ircel Harrison
Church leaders must be able to look to the future and assess what changes are waiting on the horizon. That means instead of sitting back and being reactive, a leader needs to be "preactive."
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Who Needs You to be a Good Shepherd?
There are times when all of us are sheep in need of a shepherd. Be careful who you listen to and follow. [ ]On the other hand, there are times when we are called upon to be shepherds who take care of sheep. As parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, administrators, ministers, business owners, civic and church leaders, we must be careful how we lead those who look to us for guidance and protection. As Christians, we never have permission to ignore their needs or exploit them. As good shepherds, our priority is to build healthy families and communities where everyone is valued, treated with respect and encouraged to achieve their potential.
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Like Gardens, Healthy Churches Have Loving Caretakers
Like Gardens, Healthy Churches Have Loving Caretakers
By: Bill Wilson
If churches are like gardens, then those who serve in them – laity and clergy alike – are the gardeners. Are we willing to work together to ensure the growth of a healthy church?
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Who Leads Your Church: Wizard of Oz or Dorothy?
Who Leads Your Church: Wizard of Oz or Dorothy?

By: Zach Dawes
Too many churches follow the Wizard of Oz leadership model of a larger-than-life character hiding behind a curtain. Instead, author Brian McLaren says, your church needs a Dorothy.

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Why Churches Can't Do Ministry the Way They Used To
Why Churches Can't Do Ministry the Way They Used To
By: Dennis Bickers
If they want to successfully impact a changing world for Jesus Christ, pastors and churches must continually reinvent themselves. Churches will either continue to reinvent themselves or they will die.
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3 Ways Your Church Can Flourish Like a Garden
3 Ways Your Church Can Flourish Like a Garden
By: Bill Wilson
The garden is a powerful biblical theme. Jesus taught many lessons involving plants, growth, agriculture and gardening. Here are three ways your church can be like an abundant garden.
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Why Churches Need a Theology of Prophetic Engagement
Why Churches Need a Theology of Prophetic Engagement
By: Elie Haddad
For Christian churches serving in a place where the majority of people are not Christians, it's vital to discover why God has placed them where they are and how they can reach their communities.
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3 Ways for Your Church to Navigate the Giants
3 Ways for Your Church to Navigate the Giants
By: Bill Wilson
Your church may face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, like the giants in the land that sparked fear in most of the Israelites. Here are three things you need to navigate those obstacles.
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6 Signs Your Congregation Doesn't Smell Right
6 Signs Your Congregation Doesn't Smell Right
By: Bill Wilson
What kind of aroma does your church culture have? Here are six ways to tell if your congregational culture has the sweet smell of success or stinks to high heaven.
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Why Smaller Churches Must Focus on Unique Vision
Why Smaller Churches Must Focus on Unique Vision
By: Dennis Bickers
Many smaller churches feel they must compete with larger ones. Churches, however, are not called to duplicate the ministries of others, but to focus on the unique vision God has for them.
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Why Your Church Needs to Stop Counting People
Why Your Church Needs to Stop Counting People
By: Joe LaGuardia
Churches often measure their growth by how many people they get in the pews on Sunday morning, but is that really the best way to measure the spiritual health of a congregation?
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When Worlds Unravel, God Knits Something New
When Worlds Unravel, God Knits Something New
By: Greg Mamula
Christian churches across North America have served a great purpose for the past 50 to 75 years. That world's been unraveling over the past few decades. God is knitting something new. Will we be ready?
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6 Things Your Church Has in Common with Universities
6 Things Your Church Has in Common with Universities
By: Bill Wilson
Any church leader paying attention to the stresses and strains upon their local church should model themselves after universities. Their similarities can help your church chart its future.
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What Can Your Church Learn from America's Cities?
What Can Your Church Learn from America's Cities?
By: Bill Wilson
If your church faces an uncertain future like so many others, look for examples of others who have met challenges and turned them into opportunities for success. And remember these 6 lessons.
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4 Signs Your Church Has Slipped into Survival Mode
4 Signs Your Church Has Slipped into Survival Mode
By: Randy Hyde
When a church exists in survival mode, it won't have the energy and ability to engage in visionary thinking. And that's the place where a church is able to change lives. So where are you?
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7 Steps to Increase Your Self-Discipline in Ministry
7 Steps to Increase Your Self-Discipline in Ministry
By: Mark Tidsworth
One of the nice benefits of serving as a pastor or church staff member is the control you have over your schedule, but it's also a contributing factor to the need for high levels of self-discipline.
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Why Your Church Benefits When You Build Consensus
Why Your Church Benefits When You Build Consensus
By: Nick Lear
While it may be easier to ask for forgiveness than seek permission, it's not a good leadership model for churches. It's worth the time to explain decisions and let people suggest alternatives.
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Attendance Alone Doesn't Reflect Your Church's Vitality
Attendance Alone Doesn't Reflect Your Church's Vitality
By: Bill Wilson
When a church's weekly average attendance drops, leaders look for someone to blame. Rather than scapegoating, churches must rethink how they connect with people.
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Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
By: Dennis Bickers
When searching for a new pastor, many churches automatically exclude older candidates. It's a huge mistake to believe that all older pastors cannot effectively lead a church in today's society.
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Wake Up! How to Know When Your Church Veers Off Course
Wake Up! How to Know When Your Church Veers Off Course
By: Bill Wilson
Has your church drifted off the path that God intended for you to travel? Maybe what your congregation needs is a rumble strip to get you back on course.
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Churches Struggling with Headwinds are Ready to Fly
Churches Struggling with Headwinds are Ready to Fly
By: Bill Wilson
Resistance from headwinds helps airplanes generate the lift needed to take off. When your church encounters struggles, it's ready to take off and fly as it works through the difficulties. 
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What Does the Future Look Like for Smaller Churches?
What Does the Future Look Like for Smaller Churches?
By: Dennis Bickers
Whether you like it or not, changes are coming for your smaller church. The wise congregation will weigh the options and pick the model that makes the most sense for them.
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Seen and Not Heard
What does all this mean? It means to me that the first deacons, though they were told they should be seen only and not heard, refused to be boxed in by such limitations. They had things to do, to be sure, but they also had a story to tell.
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For Effective Change, Leaders Must Walk the Talk
For Effective Change, Leaders Must Walk the Talk
By:  Dennis Bickers
When a church goes through change, it's vital for pastors and lay leaders to model that change. Failure to do so means others in the church are not going to change either.
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Why Your Ministry Should Behave Like a Lava Lamp
Why Your Ministry Should Behave Like a Lava Lamp
By: Greg Mamula
As churches respond to the leading of the Spirit, they're much like the wax in a lava lamp. As they are heated and cooled on the teachings of Christ, they are flexible and fluid.
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Why Many Pastors Will Need to Reinvent Themselves
Why Many Pastors Will Need to Reinvent Themselves
More churches in all denominations are turning to bivocational pastors. While pastors could once assume that they could secure a fully funded ministry position, that's no longer a safe assumption.
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Why Your Church Should Deep-Six Those Sign-Up Sheets
Why Your Church Should Deep-Six Those Sign-Up Sheets
Finding volunteers by posting a sign-up sheet on the church bulletin board has seen its day. Let's stop depending on volunteers and become more intentional about developing leaders.
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Perception of Clergy Ethics, Honesty Continues to Decline
Perception of Clergy Ethics, Honesty Continues to Decline
Positive perceptions of clergy continue to slide, a Gallup poll found. For the first time, less than 50 percent of respondents rated clergy "high" or "very high."
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When Churches Transition to Bivocational Ministry
When Churches Transition to Bivocational Ministry
More churches are likely to transition from a full-time pastor to a bivocational minister. To succeed with this change, both the pastor and the congregation must change expectations.
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5 Ethical Standards for Christian Outreach
5 Ethical Standards for Christian Outreach
From ousting a Muslim who tried to attend a women's conference to giving away cars to attend church on Easter, should there be ethical standards for Christian outreach? Consider these five.
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3 Lessons from Three Decades of Ministry, Marriage
3 Lessons from Three Decades of Ministry, Marriage
Just like marriage, all the training in the world can't prepare you for leading a church. You have to live it. Here are three lessons from three decades of ministry and marriage.
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3 Ways Your Church Can Stay Focused on Its Vision
3 Ways Your Church Can Stay Focused on Its Vision
When a church establishes a new and fresher vision, they stick with it for a season before slipping back into their old, destructive patterns. Here are three ways to stay focused on your vision.
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7 Ways to Introduce Advent to Your Congregation
7 Ways to Introduce Advent to Your Congregation
Introducing Advent to congregations who haven't observed the season can be challenging. Few churches respond quickly to change. Here are seven ways to help.
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Reformation Teaches Us the Power of Preaching
Reformation Teaches Us the Power of Preaching
The Protestant Reformation would not have been possible without the emergence of inspiring preachers. To bring about such needed shifts today, the role of the pulpit is a critical place to begin.
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How Bivocational Pastors Can Benefit from Coaching
How Bivocational Pastors Can Benefit from Coaching
Bivocational pastors can benefit from coaching sessions because they are a source of encouragement and helps them to step back and look at their overall ministry.
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5 Essential Tools to Make Your Ministry Healthier
5 Essential Tools to Make Your Ministry Healthier
Healthy clergy are always on the lookout for best practices that breathe life into their ministries and, thus, their places of service. Here are five practices that can help.
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10-Point Checklist to Keep Your Church from Death Spiral
10-Point Checklist to Keep Your Church from Death Spiral
When visibility is low, pilots can suffer from spatial disorientation and are in danger of flying their planes into the ground. Churches can suffer from a similar disorientation. Here's how to handle it.
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3 Ways Churches Can Return to Their True Mission
3 Ways Churches Can Return to Their True Mission
Thousands of churches have lost their moorings in terms of their purpose, forgetting they exist to embody in all they do the will of God for the world. Here's how they can get back on track.
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4 Levels of Trust Churches Need for Effective Stewardship
4 Levels of Trust Churches Need for Effective Stewardship
Trust must extend to every aspect of the church, including the character and commitment of the pastor, staff and others who manage financial resources.
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7 Reasons Smaller Churches Struggle and Close
7 Reasons Smaller Churches Struggle and Close
Many smaller U.S. churches are near the end of their ministries, with thousands of them expected to close every year. Here are seven reasons for the trend, and a hope on how it can be prevented.
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Leading Congregations – A Calling, Not a Career
Leading Congregations – A Calling, Not a Career
Church leaders who follow Jesus' summons to "follow me" understand that the primary task of leadership is to encourage all of God's people to become followers, too.
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10 Thoughts for Realistic Expectations for Music Ministry
10 Thoughts for Realistic Expectations for Music Ministry
Many who lead in music and worship ministry are the recipients of an obscene amount of vitriol, anger, criticism and unreasonable expectations. Here are 10 thoughts to keep expectations realistic.
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Breaking News: Pastor Accepts Call to Smaller Church
Breaking News: Pastor Accepts Call to Smaller Church
Pastors typically don't accept calls to smaller churches. Some pastors, however, feel God calling them to smaller churches. If it happens to you, it's an incredible ministry opportunity.
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A More Fitting Metaphor for Pastors – as Artisans
A More Fitting Metaphor for Pastors – as Artisans
We've used a lot of metaphors to describe church leaders – shepherd, physician, CEO – but what artisan? Artisans were skilled masters who produced beautiful and functional work.
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5 Ways to Plug in Church Members for Service
5 Ways to Plug in Church Members for Service
When church members say they can't find a place to plug in, it may have more to do with the way the church empowers members than with the lack of available opportunities.
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5 Unhealthy Expectations Small Churches Have for Pastors
5 Unhealthy Expectations Small Churches Have for Pastors
Many smaller churches are increasingly becoming bivocational. Many of those churches have unrealistic expectations for their next pastor. Here are five of the most common.
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Seeking God's Will at Your Church? Get a Shredder
Seeking God's Will at Your Church? Get a Shredder
We all have lots of ideas about how church ought to be run – great ideas. But we need to come to the place where we realize God wants our hearts before he wants our ideas.
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4 Lessons on Transferring Leadership in Churches
4 Lessons on Transferring Leadership in Churches
Transferring from one leader to the next in churches isn't always neat or simple, but church leaders can benefit from the lessons of Elisha's succession to Elijah.
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10 Lessons Learned on Life after Pastoral Ministry
10 Lessons Learned on Life after Pastoral Ministry
The life of a pastor looks different when the pastor is now in the pew. Here are 10 things learned about pastoral ministry from someone who no longer pastors a congregation.
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Why Pastors Should Consider Smaller Churches
Why Pastors Should Consider Smaller Churches
It can be easy for pastors to be tempted by the idea that moving to bigger churches is a sign of ministry success. But smaller churches have much to offer, too.
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Balancing the Tension Between Pastor, Prophet Roles
Balancing the Tension Between Pastor, Prophet Roles
For pastors and laypersons alike, balancing a spirit of sensitivity and compassion while speaking prophetically about today's issues isn't easy. Being one often risks the other.
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How You Can Tell the Emperor He Has No Clothes
How You Can Tell the Emperor He Has No Clothes
Providing another viewpoint to someone in a position of power always carries risk. Here are some lessons for both sides to encourage open and honest communication.
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Are You Pursuing Success While Ignoring Signifcance?
Are You Pursuing Success While Ignoring Signifcance?
We often live our everyday lives outside the arena where God is at work. We keep busy with our consumer lifestyles, pursuit of pleasure and drive to appear successful.
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The Call to Leadership is Often Uncomfortable
The Call to Leadership is Often Uncomfortable
What makes a good leader? They help others move beyond themselves into the world that is around them. And that can sometimes be uncomfortable.
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3 Essentials for Effective Conflict Management
3 Essentials for Effective Conflict Management
No one can eliminate all conflict in a church, but motivated and effective leaders prevent much conflict from even developing. Here are three ways they do it.
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5 Ways Churches Can Curb Pastoral Abuse
5 Ways Churches Can Curb Pastoral Abuse
Pastoral abuse of any form occurs when pastors overstep their boundaries and view church members as a means to an end. Here are five ways the church can respond.
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10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Pastor's Sermons
10 Ways You Can Ruin Your Pastor's Sermons
If you want to encourage your pastor to deliver inspiring sermons, think about ways you can ensure awful messages every week – and let them suggest ways to promote positive results.
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Is Loyalty to MSNBC or Fox News More Critical to Church Membership Than 'Jesus is Lord'?
Is Loyalty to MSNBC or Fox News More Critical to Church Membership Than 'Jesus is Lord'?
How do you become a church member in today's politically charged culture? It's more about landing on the left or right side of politics than it is about being a child of God.
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Health Ministry Requires Healthy Ministers
Health Ministry Requires Healthy Ministers
Most clergy, and especially health ministers, struggle with internal stress. If you start to think of yourself as a catalyst, there are three ways you can lower that stress.
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7 Ways Your Church Can Respond to Tragedy
7 Ways Your Church Can Respond to Tragedy
Every day seems to bring news of a devastating disruption in some community's life. When news of disaster breaks in on us, here are seven things congregational leaders can do.
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When Church Conflict Erupts, We Blame Wrong Thing
When Church Conflict Erupts, We Blame Wrong Thing
Three churches in conflict from three different denominations. People in each one blamed denominational polity. The truth is often closer to our hearts than we want to admit.
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Women in Ministry Must Pave Way for Next Generation
Women in Ministry Must Pave Way for Next Generation
Women serving in the ministry know some ceilings won't be broken in their lifetimes. Yet they can join together and beat upon the glass ceiling to make a million cracks.
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Church Musicians – Worship Leaders or Performers?
Church Musicians – Worship Leaders or Performers?
As church musicians, the ultimate goal of presenting our best talents to God during worship is not to draw the spotlight on ourselves but to reflect the spotlight so that it shines on God.
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How Your Church Benefits From a Long-Term Pastor
How Your Church Benefits From a Long-Term Pastor
Most ministers rarely stay long at churches. Many move on in search of greener pastures. Many congregants feel they must defend their turf. What if those attitudes changed?
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How Your Church is Like the Corvette
How Your Church is Like the Corvette
The Corvette evokes great nostalgia and loyalty among a dwindling crowd. Designers must remain true to their traditional heritage while becoming relevant for the next generation. Sound familiar?
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Pope Francis Models Humility in World that Practices Humiliation
Pope Francis Models Humility in World that Practices Humiliation
In publicly identifying Christianity with humility, Pope Francis has shown the world another way – a way that stands in sharp contrast with the practice of humiliation.
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5 Ways Your Church Can Discern Future Trends
5 Ways Your Church Can Discern Future Trends
Everyone is searching for "the next big thing" that can empower the ministry of the church. How do we know if it's real or a bust? Five ideas can help you discern.
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4 Characteristics of Churches That Call New Leaders
4 Characteristics of Churches That Call New Leaders
Many congregations are so focused on survival that they've grown blind to the call to propagate and reproduce leaders, but they're putting their future at stake.
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Resistant or Resilient: Which Describes Your Church?
Resistant or Resilient: Which Describes Your Church?
As congregations age, most churches will face a turning point of sustainability in the near future. Whether they survive will depend on whether they're resistant or resilient.
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4 Steps to Help Lay Leaders Start New Churches
4 Steps to Help Lay Leaders Start New Churches
Can lay leaders successfully launch a new church? Here are four steps that an established congregation can follow to carry out a lay-led church start strategy.
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6 Steps to Lead Your Church Through Successful Change
6 Steps to Lead Your Church Through Successful Change
If there's one thing that doesn't change, it's that we all resist change. How do you help your church adjust when a major change needs to be made? Help them through these six stages.
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5 Skills Required for Today's Ministers
5 Skills Required for Today's Ministers
Seminaries aren't producing the kind of pastoral leaders that churches need. Here are five skills that ministers required to meet their faith communities' needs.
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4 Ways Your Church Can Become Whole-Hearted
4 Ways Your Church Can Become Whole-Hearted
Today's churches face significant headwind and many challenges. Half-heartedness can lead to irrelevance or even extinction. Here are 4 ways to "put your heart into it."
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Can You Evaluate Your Pastor's Effectiveness?
Can You Evaluate Your Pastor's Effectiveness?
There is no comprehensive and exhaustive clergy competency list. Since leadership in congregations is an extremely relevant issue, how do we make progress on it?
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7 Ways Your Church Can Become More Innovative
7 Ways Your Church Can Become More Innovative
Change isn't easy. When it happens in church, we either adapt to it or use it as a springboard for innovative and effective ministry. Here are 7 areas where that can happen.
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4 Habits to Build Healthy Leadership at Your Church
4 Habits to Build Healthy Leadership at Your Church
Is your church led by staff or controlled by staff? When staff leadership is unhealthy, it's often at the heart of church conflict. Try these 4 habits to build a healthier leadership culture.
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How Your Church Can Escape the Happiness Trap
How Your Church Can Escape the Happiness Trap
When church happiness is enshrined, God's Holy Spirit is constrained. Leaders' energy is consumed internally rather than in external ministry. The false god of happiness needs to go.
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How Ministers Can Make Themselves Indispensable
How Ministers Can Make Themselves Indispensable
Each of us is gifted by God in special ways. Take time to identify the things that you can do better, more effectively or with more ability than anyone else.
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6 Silicon Valley Lessons for Ministry Entrepreneurs
6 Silicon Valley Lessons for Ministry Entrepreneurs
Ministry entrepreneurs learn not only from traditional Christian sources but from the marketplace as well. Consider these six lessons taken from Silicon Valley.
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Good Standing and Great Boldness
Good standing and great boldness. Give it your best, let your religion show, and if you will do that, God will bless you for it.
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Managing Church Conflicts When Both Sides Are Right
Managing Church Conflicts When Both Sides Are Right
Some church conflicts can't be resolved with traditional problem-solving skills. When both sides are right, healthy congregations know how to manage these polarities.
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5 Ways Ministers Can Avoid a Healthy Life Balance
5 Ways Ministers Can Avoid a Healthy Life Balance
Can successful ministers achieve a healthy life balance? If you don't care if your ministry self-destructs, here are five ways you can avoid a healthy life balance.
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Coptic and Anglican Leaders Chosen
Coptic and Anglican Leaders Chosen
Two new Christian leaders were chosen this month. Pope Tawadros II now leads the Coptic Church, and Bishop Justin Welby is the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
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Defy the Status Quo; Undo Something Today
Defy the Status Quo; Undo Something Today
Steve Jobs, Reed Hastings and Wendy Kopp all changed the status quo by challenging the way it worked with a new way of doing things. So what can you undo?
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7 Reasons Churches Face a Conflict Pandemic
7 Reasons Churches Face a Conflict Pandemic
Congregational conflict appears to be reaching pandemic levels. Here are the seven most popular culprits driving this surge followed by seven possible solutions.
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5 Ways Pastors Can Know It's Time to Move On
5 Ways Pastors Can Know It's Time to Move On
When should a pastor leave a church? When should he or she stick it out? All ministers wrestle with these questions. Here are five clues to determine if you should stay or go.
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Tinted Windows and Bodygaurd
Real power, the power of the kingdom, is found in humility, and in service to others.
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Healthy Church Teams Hold Each Other Accountable
Healthy Church Teams Hold Each Other Accountable
Many church staff members operate in a world void of accountability, but healthy ministerial teams develop good practices around holding one another accountable.
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Why It's Time for Your Church to Fail
Why It's Time for Your Church to Fail
If God's churches are going to be what the world needs, they're going to have to take some risks. And when you take risks, you need to learn from your failures.
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4 Indicators That Pastors are Fulfilling Their Passion
4 Indicators That Pastors are Fulfilling Their Passion
Passionate pastors are captivated by Christ. They not only admire and respect Jesus' ministry, they want to reflect the Spirit of Christ. Here are four ways that happens.
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4 Steps to Avoid a Church's Biggest Conflict
4 Steps to Avoid a Church's Biggest Conflict
One of the biggest conflicts in church life centers on staff. There are four steps – one in particular – that can put your church on the road to a healthy staff.
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Why Having It Your Way in Church is Deadly
Why Having It Your Way in Church is Deadly
Church members rarely argue about the real issue. Whether it's about the style of worship or the color of the carpets, most conflicts are really about getting our way.
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6 Steps to Help Pastors Be Effective Leaders
6 Steps to Help Pastors Be Effective Leaders
Church staff members expect their leaders to identify a direction, set the pace and provide the resources and encouragement. If they fail, the situation can become very chaotic.
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5 Insights to Help Your Church Survive Change
5 Insights to Help Your Church Survive Change
Change is never easy for a church. We often cause havoc when we force change too quickly or expect 100 percent agreement. Here are five insights to help your church survive.
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21 Lessons in Politics from a Baptist Preacher
21 Lessons in Politics from a Baptist Preacher
Baptist churches are about the purest form of democracy around. Here are 21 lessons to help pastors hone their skills of diplomacy, bridge-building and persuasion.
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Trouble at Church? The Cavalry Ain't Coming
Trouble at Church? The Cavalry Ain't Coming
Healthy faith communities know the cavalry isn't riding to the rescue to solve their complex issues. Instead, they allow God to lead them into the depths of authentic faith.
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Would Jesus Attend Your Inwardly Focused Church?
Would Jesus Attend Your Inwardly Focused Church?
Churches that focus on themselves instead of their communities produce highly anxious leaders who fear offending their members and building churches Jesus wouldn't attend.
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What's The Most Important Part of Church?
What's The Most Important Part of Church?
What's the most crucial part of a church? Is it the buildings, budgets or perhaps programs? Could it be its "take" on finer points of doctrine? No, but read on for the answer.
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Did Southern Baptists' Golden Era Trigger Today's Malaise?
Did Southern Baptists' Golden Era Trigger Today's Malaise?
With many churches in decline and as the neighborhood churches disappear, wouldn't it be nice to return to the golden era of Southern Baptist life? Not in a heartbeat, says one pastor.
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5 Issues That Bother Pastors About Search Committees
5 Issues That Bother Pastors About Search Committees
Search committees have a daunting task as they seek a pastor for their church. Often staffed by volunteers, they have limited time. Here are five issues they should address.
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4 Suggestions to Help Ministers of the Future
4 Suggestions to Help Ministers of the Future
What kind of skills will seminary students need if they want to be prepared to minister a decade from now? Here are four ways they can be effective in 2022.
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5 Statements That Mean Your Church is in Trouble
5 Statements That Mean Your Church is in Trouble
If you hear one of these five statements in your church, you can know your church is in trouble. And that may indicate that it's time to ask for an outside perspective.
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4 Pastors Describe a Healthy Search Process
4 Pastors Describe a Healthy Search Process
Searching for a new pastor is exhilarating and risky for congregations. Four pastors who recently made the transition share how your church can do it successfully.
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When Senior Pastors Are in Over Their Heads
When Senior Pastors Are in Over Their Heads
As pastors move to larger churches, they find themselves in over their heads. The skills that carried them to senior leadership often stymie them as they take on a new level of responsibility.
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Different Motives Define Tale of Two Servants
Different Motives Define Tale of Two Servants
What's your motive when you serve others? The pages of the Bible reveal a tale of two servants. One whose motives were pure, and another with self-centered motives.
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Biography Recognizes Steve Jobs' Bright and Dark Sides
Biography Recognizes Steve Jobs' Bright and Dark Sides
Walter Isaacson's biography on Steve Jobs reminds us that a person can make a tremendous contribution to culture, business and society even if he isn't the nicest person in the room.
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14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers
14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers
For new graduates ready to enter the ministry, the landscape is changing rapidly and difficult to navigate. Here are 14 thoughts to consider for the men and women starting their ministry.
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15 Characteristics of Great Church Leaders
15 Characteristics of Great Church Leaders
No matter where you travel on the planet, innovative church leaders have some common characteristics, including patience and optimism. Check out all 15.
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Being Thankful for Impact of an Opinionated Woman
Being Thankful for Impact of an Opinionated Woman
If something didn't work the way it should, Ethel would find out why and fix it. She was a formidable woman with strong opinions about everything. And you know what? She was right.
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Real Leaders Inspire Others to Do Better
Real Leaders Inspire Others to Do Better
In contrast to political opportunists, genuine leaders move us from apathy to engagement, from indifference to involvement, and from settling for the status quo to reaching for new realities.
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CEO as Commander in Chief: A Workable Model?
CEO as Commander in Chief: A Workable Model?
With the GOP presidential nominee all but confirmed, U.S. voters will need to decide if the CEO model of leadership is what the nation requires at this moment in its history.
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Are Churches Really Prepared for Future?
Are Churches Really Prepared for Future?
Church leadership in the 21st century involves making many decisions about the future of ministry, often against a backdrop of rapid change and poorly understood but increasingly challenging circumstances.
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Why New Clergy Deserve a Chance in Your Church
Why New Clergy Deserve a Chance in Your Church
When churches call recent seminary grads to serve as ministers, they are making a covenant to partner with those ministers to further their education in the crucible of congregational life.
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Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
Why Your Church Should Consider an Older Pastor
Many pastor-search committees believe they need a young pastor to attract young families to their churches, but effectiveness and appeal to young adults have little to do with a pastor's age.
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President Obama’s Five Most Personal Religious Statements
(RNS) In recent days, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has criticized President Obama for having a "phony theology" not based on the Bible.
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Rick Santorum Defends Views on Obama’s Theology
WASHINGTON (RNS) Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum is defending his views questioning prenatal testing and President Obama's "theology."
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Court Says Quebec Parents Can’t Pull Students Out of Religion Class
TORONTO (RNS) Canada's highest court has ruled that children in Quebec schools cannot opt out of a course on ethics and world religions.
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Grief Without God Is a Challenge for Nonbelievers
BERKELEY, Calif. (RNS) When Rebecca Hensler's infant son died in 2009, she received numerous condolences from friends, colleagues and even total strangers.
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British High Court Rules Against Prayer at Town Meetings
LONDON (RNS) A British High Court justice has triggered dismay with a recent decision that declares prayers at town hall meetings are against the law.
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Vatican Leaks Scandal Looms Large at Meeting to Elevate New Cardinals
VATICAN CITY (RNS) As leaders meet, looming in the background will be a recent string of Vatican leaks that reveal a bitter power struggle among the hierarchy.
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Nonprofit Groups Oppose Obama’s Change in Charitable Deductions
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama is proposing lower tax deductions for the wealthy on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations.
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Gotham’s No Gomorrah, Says N.Y. Archbishop Timothy Dolan
VATICAN CITY (RNS) New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan said he would like to change the caricature of his city as a modern-day Gomorrah.
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FBI, Muslims Report Progress over Training Materials
(RNS) FBI officials say they are willing to consider a proposal to establish a committee of experts to review materials used in FBI anti-terrorism training.
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Sparks Fly as House GOP Blasts Contraception Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Exhibit A in the fight over President Obama's mandate for religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception: a ham sandwich.
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Southern Baptists Mull Whether ‘Southern’ Still Fits
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (RNS) For the Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, being Southern Baptist is a defining aspect of life.
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Churches Using Old Answers for New Problems
Churches Using Old Answers for New Problems
In many churches, leaders deal with today's problems by going back to the answers that worked for them in the past. But old answers can never solve new problems.
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Why Do Mormons Baptize the Dead?
(RNS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has apologized for a Mormon who baptized the late parents of famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
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Company Touts Medical Tourism to Israel for Sick pilgrims
JERUSALEM (RNS) Every year, thousands of Americans travel abroad for less-expensive fertility treatments, hip replacements and other medical procedures.
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French Mormons Find a Less Hospitable ‘Mormon Moment’
CHESNAY, FRANCE (RNS) Past clusters of houses and frozen fields in this Paris suburb, the Palace of Versailles sparkles in the evening sun.
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Poll Finds Americans Split on Contraception Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans are split on a federal mandate requiring nearly all employers to provide insurance covering contraception.
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New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin Dubbed the ‘Taiwanese Tebow’
(RNS) New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin's underdog story and outspoken evangelical faith have some sportswriters dubbing him the "Taiwanese Tebow."
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Update: U.K. Innkeepers Fined for Turning Away Gay Couple
LONDON (RNS) Britain's Court of Appeal has ordered a pair of Christian innkeepers to pay 3,600 pounds ($5,800) in damages.
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No Pews, No Suits, No Problem
(RNS) Ron Williams is the pastor of Church at the GYM in Sanford, Fla. As the Baptist church's name implies, Williams' congregation meets, well, in a gym.
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Washington Becomes Seventh State to Legalize Gay Marriage
SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) In an emotional ceremony, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation that makes Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
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Attorney Drops Abuse Suit Against Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A lawyer has dropped a lawsuit that sought to hold Pope Benedict XVI and other church officials responsible for a clergy sexual abuse case.
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Book Shatters Stereotypes on Muslim Women, Sex and Love
(RNS) If you think good Muslim women wait for marriage to have sex, think again.
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Obama Exempts Religious Groups from Contraception Mandate
(RNS) President Obama unveiled an "accommodation'' in which health insurance companies will provide employees with contraception coverage.
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Church Seeks Line Between Interfaith and Intolerance
DES PERES, Mo. (RNS) More than 100 Lutherans streamed into the basement classroom for a Bible study called "Islam Through a Lutheran Lens."
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Anglican Breakaway Group Confronts New Power Struggle
NASHVILLE (RNS) The saga of the Anglican Mission in the Americas sounds like the words to an old country song: "Why have you left the one you left me for?"
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Egyptians Say Christian Party Is Not the Answer
WASHINGTON (RNS) A delegation of Egyptian Christian leaders said they do not support the development of a Christian political party.
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Lawmaker Angry over Loss of ‘God’ in Air Force Logo
(RNS) Dozens of members of Congress are upset that the Air Force has removed the Latin word for "God" from the logo of an Air Force acquisitions office.
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Report Calls Muslim Terrorism a ‘Minuscule Threat’
(RNS) The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is "tiny" and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading anti-terrorism expert said in a new report.
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Five Reasons Why Obama Is Losing the Contraception Fight
(RNS) The White House has surprised observers and disappointed some liberal allies by signaling that it is willing to compromise.
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White House Signals Backtrack on Contraception Rule
(RNS) Advisors are signaling a potential compromise on a controversial new mandate that requires institutions to cover contraception costs for employees.
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N.C. Muslims Rally Around Suspects in Beheading Plot
WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) As a Muslim woman waits in jail, her friends and family are using social media to rally support for her cause.
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Appeals Court Strikes Down California Ban on Same-sex Marriage
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.
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Why God Doesn't Recognize Your Plans
Why God Doesn't Recognize Your Plans
We often make great plans about how we want to serve God – and then expect God to show up and bless them. Instead, we need to show up for God's plan.
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Your Church Lost Its Way? 6 Questions to Ask
Your Church Lost Its Way? 6 Questions to Ask
Churches and organizations don't always get in trouble for doing the wrong thing. Often, they'll lose their way when they try to do too many good things.
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Chaplains Hear Call to Serve God While Serving Country
(RNS) Growing up in Kuwait, Asif Balbale thought he wanted to become a chemical engineer. He never imagined enlisting in the U.S. Navy, much less becoming an imam.
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Priest Fired for Refusing to Use New Catholic Prayers
ST. LOUIS (RNS) For 18 years, the Rev. William Rowe has done a little improvising while celebrating Mass on Sunday mornings at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
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British Group Can’t Tout Divine Healing in Ads, Website
LONDON (RNS) Britain's media advertising watchdog has banned a Christian group from claiming that God's cure-all powers can heal a string of medical ailments.
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Vatican to Host Global Summit on Sexual Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic bishops from all over the world will meet next week at a Vatican summit aimed at preventing abuse and protecting children.
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Muslims Petition Attorney General for NYPD Probe
(RNS) Muslim and legal advocacy groups are urging Schneiderman to investigate the New York City Police Department after the second scandal in as many weeks.
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Pastor Poised to Be First Black to Lead Baptists
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
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Mainline Protestants Up for Grabs Heading into November
WASHINGTON (RNS) White mainline Protestants have a big thing going for them this election cycle: they are divided, and possibly persuadable.
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Obama Says Faith Mandates Him to Care for the Poor
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama connected his faith with his policies toward the poor at the National Prayer Breakfast.
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In Galileo’s Hometown, Vatican Promotes Science
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Nearly four centuries after the Church branded Galileo Galilei a heretic, the Vatican is co-hosting a major science exhibition in his hometown.
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Middle East Christians Keep Wary Eye on Arab Spring
CAIRO (RNS) From her home, Samia Ramsis holds a key chain bearing the face of the Virgin Mary.
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Christians Join Fight Against Cockfighting
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders are teaming with animal rights advocates to fight against cockfighting.
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Mormons Confront Epidemic of Online Misinformation
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A Mormon student surfs the Internet for a school assignment and discovers that Mormon founder Joseph Smith had multiple wives.
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On Eve of Darwin’s Birthday, States Take Steps to Limit Evolution
(RNS) On the eve of Charles Darwin's birthday, lawmakers in at least four states are taking steps to hinder the teaching of evolution.
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Is the Mormon Church’s Racial History a Problem for Mitt Romney?
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
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Study Says U.S. Muslims Don’t Want Shariah Either
(RNS) North American Muslims are more than satisfied with the secular legal system and do not want a set of parallel courts for Islamic law.
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In Cleveland, a Battle over Unwanted Churches
CLEVELAND (RNS) The Euclid Avenue Church of God and the former Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration sit empty on this city's former Millionaires' Row.
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Woman Charged with Embezzling $1 million from NY Archdiocese
NEW YORK (RNS) A 67-year-old woman with a criminal record for theft has been charged with siphoning $1 million in donations.
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Catholics Rally Against Obama Contraception Mandate
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Catholic churches denounced a new federal rule requiring faith-based employers to include reproductive services in health care coverage.
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Americans Intrigued but Wary Still of Mormon Beliefs
(RNS) When Mormons call themselves "a peculiar people," they mean it in the biblical sense -- set aside by God, chosen.
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Court Says Student’s Faith May Have Led to Expulsion
(RNS) A counseling student who declined to advise a gay client might have been expelled from her university because of her faith, a federal appeals court ruled.
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Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims Blast Rick Santorum on Equality Comment
(RNS) Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are accusing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum of bigotry and ignorance.
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Praying for New Orleans, One Block at a Time
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Millie Campbell slipped the transmission into reverse. "Oh God," she said, "we thank you for the blood of Jesus."
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After Minor Turbulence, Alaska Airlines Suspends Prayer Cards
(RNS) After causing a bit of turbulence with some passengers, Alaska Airlines will no longer serve prayer cards with in-flight meals, the company announced.
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Muslims Call for NYPD Chief to Resign over Video
(RNS) Muslim American groups are calling for the resignation of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
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Top Catholic Bishop Feels Betrayed by Obama
NEW YORK (RNS) The administration's decision on health insurance had New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan feeling personally betrayed.
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After Angering Catholics, White House Honors Teachers
WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House heralded nine Catholic educators as "Champions of Catholic Education."
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Workers at Religious Institutions Fear Future of Pensions
NEW BRUNSWICK (RNS) Sue Fritz tended to the sick for more than two decades as a nurse at St. Peter's University Hospital.
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A Miniature Christian Bookstore in the Palm of Your Hand
(RNS) God may hold the whole world in his hand, but persecuted Christians can now hold an entire seminary library on a fingertip.
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Shhh! Pope Praises Value of Short Tweets, Silence
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI praised new communications technologies like Twitter, saying that even "concise phrases can convey profound thoughts."
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2012 Is About Leadership
2012 Is About Leadership
Leadership is the pole to which many issues are tethered in 2012. And for people of faith, the biblical witness provides the best record of the upside and downside of leadership in transition.
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Kansas Politician's Apology: Sorry You Were Offended
Kansas Politician's Apology: Sorry You Were Offended
A Kansas politician apologized for forwarding emails critical of President Obama. However, like many before him, he didn't apologize for what he said but for offending those who misinterpreted him.
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Poll: Preachy Politicians Turn Off Many Voters
(RNS) If there's one thing the fractious Republican field agrees on, it's that personal religious devotion is central to their campaign message.
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Muslim Men Convicted of Advocating Death for Gays
LONDON (RNS) In the first case of its kind, a British court has convicted three Muslim men of openly advocating the execution of gays.
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Bodily Desecration Is Disturbing—but Why?
(RNS) The recent outrage over a video allegedly showing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters provided Americans with a disturbing reminder.
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Obama Holds Firm on Contraception Coverage
(RNS) The Obama administration said that it will not broaden the religious exemption in new rules that require employers to provide contraception coverage.
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Conservative Presbyterians Launch New Denomination
(RNS) Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination, saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) cannot nurture healthy congregations.
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Catholics warn Gingrich, Santorum on race baiting
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
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Pope Warns U.S. Bishops of ‘Radical Secularism’
(RNS) “Radical secularism” is gaining ground in American society and poses a “grave threat” to the Catholic Church’s freedom of expression in the public square.
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Are Mormons Christian? It’s Complicated
(RNS) Ask Mormons if they are Christian, and their answer often starts with a sigh.
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Rabbis Step In as Matchmakers on New Jewish Dating Sites
(RNS) Before you meet your match, you’ve got to meet your matchmaker.
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Where's Your Congregation's Focus: Inward or Outward?
Where's Your Congregation's Focus: Inward or Outward?
In healthy congregations and parishes, the gap between where we invest most of our resources and what we sense to be our essential calling is under constant evaluation. Where's your focus?
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Flood of ‘De-baptisms’ Worries European Church Leaders
PARIS (RNS) A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register.
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Christians Report Lowest Growth Rate in Israel
JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Christians have the lowest growth rate among the Israeli population, according to a recent report.
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At 27, New Imam Represents a Homegrown American Islam
ST. LOUIS (RNS) At just 27 years old, Asif Umar is the new imam of Daar-ul-Islam mosque, the largest mosque in the metro area.
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Will Evangelical Endorsement Fuel Santorum Surge?
(RNS) The Iowa caucuses revived Rick Santorum’s underdog presidential campaign. Now an influential assortment of Christian conservatives has moved to consecrate it.
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Muslims Say Ron Paul is Their Kind of Republican
(RNS) Growing up in rural parts of the American West, Nadja Adolf’s libertarian streak developed early on.
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Growth Transitions Can Challenge Congregations
Growth Transitions Can Challenge Congregations
As congregations grow, they must transition to different ways of organizing themselves. One of the most difficult transitions occurs when they move to groups leading different functions.
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Survey: Half of Churchgoers’ Lives not Affected by Time in Pews
(RNS) Almost half of churchgoing Americans say their life has not changed a bit due to their time in the pews, a new survey shows.
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Judge Rules Against Prayer Banner in R.I. School
(RNS) A federal judge ruled in favor of a teenage atheist who sought the removal of a prayer banner from her Rhode Island high school.
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Unconventional Statue of John Paul II Gets a Makeover
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just eight months after being unveiled, a controversial statue of Pope John Paul II in Rome is receiving a major makeover.
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Religious Leaders: Same-sex Marriage Threatens Religious Freedom
(RNS) A coalition of nearly 40 religious leaders has published an open letter that seeks to recast the battle against same-sex marriage as a fight for religious freedom.
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String of Synagogue Attacks Stirs Concern in New Jersey
RUTHERFORD, N.J. (RNS) An attack on a New Jersey synagogue is being investigated as an attempted murder and a bias crime.
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Judge Refuses to Free Leader of Amish Beard-cutting Sect
CLEVELAND (RNS) A federal judge refused to release the leader of an Amish splinter sect from jail on charges he orchestrated the cutting of beards.
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Supreme Court Sides with Churches in Employment Fights
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously threw its support behind a church school that fired a teacher.
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Beloved Hymns Carried King Through Troubled Times

(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.

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Va. Judge Rules Against Breakaway Episcopal Parishes
(RNS) Seven congregations that broke with the Episcopal Church in 2006 over its liberal policies on homosexuality are not entitled to keep parish property.
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Appeals Court Rules Oklahoma Shariah Ban Unconstitutional
(RNS) Oklahoma’s referendum against state judges considering Islamic law is unconstitutional, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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New White House Staffers Have Catholic, Jewish Ties
(RNS) President Obama named an immigration expert with longstanding ties to the Catholic Church as his top domestic policy official.
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New Saint’s Work Started Small, Left Big Legacy
(RNS) Barbara Koob moved from Utica, N.Y., to nearby Syracuse in the summer of 1862, when she was 24, to enter the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis.
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How to Stretch Your Congregation to Change
How to Stretch Your Congregation to Change
Most faith leaders instinctively want to stretch their congregations in new directions, but creating the tension to move congregations toward that change is a challenge.
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Rob Bell Says Goodbye to Michigan Megachurch
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (RNS) For years, Rob Bell closed his Sunday teachings at Mars Hill Bible Church with a simple statement: “Grace and peace be with you.”
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Pope Tells Diplomats that Economy Needs New Rules
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The world economy needs “new rules” to overcome the current financial crisis, Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican diplomats.
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Pope Benedict XVI’s Cardinals: More Roman, Less Catholic
(RNS) The big news was that Pope Benedict XVI had included New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and former Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien.
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It’s 2012, Which Means Another Doomsday May Be upon Us
(RNS) On Dec. 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar reaches the end of its 5,126 epoch. That’s a cause of consternation among some end-times adherents.
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N.C. Man Has a Gentle Madness for Church Fans Collection
WILMINGTON (RNS) William McNeill remembers two things about sitting in the pew at Singletary United Methodist Church in Dublin, N.C. as a boy.
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Boston Cardinal Marks 10 Years Since Abuse Scandal
(RNS) Ten years after the sex abuse scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has written a contrite public letter.
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In Academia, Islam Remains a Risky Third Rail
(RNS) A recent spate of campus controversies involving professors who made provocative statements about Muslims shows how easy it is for academics to get into trouble.
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Victims’ Group Refuses to Turn over Names in Abuse Suit
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The director of a leading victims’ advocacy group refused to answer some questions or turn over documents in a deposition.
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L.A. Bishop Resigns After Fathering Children
(RNS) A Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop from Los Angeles has resigned after admitting he is the father of two children, both now teenagers.
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Romney’s Evangelical Problem Starts with Theology
(RNS) The good news for Mitt Romney: he won the Iowa caucuses. The bad news for Romney: evangelicals remain reluctant to support him.
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Vatican Launches Catholic Home for U.S. Episcopalians
(RNS) American Episcopalians upset with their denomination’s acceptance of gay and female clergy can now convert to the Roman Catholic Church.
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Catholic School Officially Ends Paddling
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A Catholic high school that was the country’s last refuge of corporal punishment has ended a legal struggle over control of the school.
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Atheists Face Uphill Climb with New Political Party
(RNS) How viable is a political party with the word “atheist” in its name?
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2011: A Year of Taking It to the Streets
(RNS) 2011 was supposed to be the year the world ended. Twice.
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Pope Pins Financial Mess on Crisis of Faith
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Europe’s economic and financial crisis is the consequence of an “ethical crisis” and a “crisis of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI said.
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Christmas Banner Causes Big Spat in Small N.J. Town
PITMAN, N.J. (RNS) Located just 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Pitman, N.J., has the rural feel of fictional Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
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Tebow is Top Religion Author of 2011
(RNS) Critics have hammered Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for everything from his throwing style to his trademark professions of evangelical faith.
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Poll: Nearly 80 Percent of Americans are Christian
(RNS) As Christmas nears, more than three-quarters of Americans identify themselves as Christian, Gallup reports.
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Man Sentenced for Burning Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The second of three city men was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for burning a local black church after President Barack Obama was elected.
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Evangelicals Side with Catholics on Insurance Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholics who have pushed back against a White House policy are getting a high-profile assist from dozens of evangelical leaders.
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German Jews Ride Renaissance Against Tide of Assimilation
LUEBECK, Germany (RNS) After years of celebrating behind drawn curtains, Paliy went to Luebeck’s historic synagogue and lit the candles in freedom for the first time.
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Feds Charge 12 in Amish Beard-cutting Attacks
CLEVELAND (RNS) Federal prosecutors have expanded their case against members of a breakaway Amish sect for their roles in shaving hair and beards.
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Atheists Aim to Change Image of Penny-pinching Scrooges
(RNS) If Dec. 10 had been an average day for Doctors Without Borders, its website would have logged 4,000 hits.
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U.S. Jumps to Top of Charity Index
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat.
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Report Shows Christianity Shifting to Africa
(RNS) With 2.18 billion adherents, Christianity has become a truly global religion over the past century according to a new report.
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Muslims Caught in Reality Show Crossfire Struggle to Understand Controversy
DEARBORN, Mich. (RNS) When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline.
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Pope Certifies Miracles for Two U.S. Saints
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A 17th-century Native American woman and a Catholic nun are on the verge of becoming the newest American saints.
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Muslim Push Lowe’s Boycott over Reality Series
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The controversy between Muslim Americans and the Lowe’s home improvement chain will spill into 2012 with a planned boycott of Lowe’s.
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Ten Commandments Scroll Goes on Display in New York
NEW YORK (RNS) It is an irony of history that the Ten Commandments are found in their purest form on a strip of ancient parchment.
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Obama Defends His Israel Policy at Jewish Conference
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (RNS) President Obama told a crowd of Reform Jews that no other administration “has done more in support of Israel’s security.”
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Christopher Hitchens’ Atheism Was a Gift to Believers
WASHINGTON (RNS) Christopher Hitchens will be remembered as many things: an acerbic essayist, connoisseur of Scotch and cigarettes and roguish writer.
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On Dec. 25, Atheists Celebrate a Different Birthday
(RNS) Deck those halls with boughs of apples and top that tree with a finger puppet of Sir Isaac Newton.
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New Reform Jewish Leader Promises Revitalization
WASHINGTON (RNS) Rabbi Richard Jacobs understands why so many Jews avoid synagogues.
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Clinton Hosts Summit on Religious Intolerance
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up a summit of international leaders this week to explore specific steps to combat intolerance.
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Church Secretary Says Interracial Marriage Got Her Fired
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
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3 Temptations Faced by Christian Leaders
3 Temptations Faced by Christian Leaders
Contemporary Christian leaders face three temptations, the late Henri Nouwen said, and urged them to pursue "a life of downward mobility" embodied by prayer, vulnerability and trust.
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Small Churches, Can You Sustain New Programs?
Small Churches, Can You Sustain New Programs?
Small churches may be eager to launch new programs or ministries, but they need to ask an important question before they do. Can we sustain it?
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Muslim Reality Show, Under Fire, Denies Charges of Extremism
(RNS) The cast and producers of “All-American Muslim,” said they are helping change negative perceptions of Muslims.
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Bin Laden’s Death Rated Top Religion News Story
(RNS) The death of Osama bin Laden and the reactions it produced among people of faith was rated the No. 1 religion news story of 2011.
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Jefferson’s Bible Gets a second look
WASHINGTON (RNS) How would you feel about taking a razor blade to a Bible? Thomas Jefferson, apparently, didn’t have any qualms about it.
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Why China May Be Biggest Threat to Global Security
Why China May Be Biggest Threat to Global Security
Which nation is the biggest threat to global security? To feed its addiction to rapid growth, China has been gobbling up resources across the globe.
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Has Matisyahu Left Judaism?
(RNS) Matisyahu, the improbable but undeniable reggae star, announced on Twitter that he is shaving the beard that has long marked him as a Hasidic Jew.
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Conservatives Rate Naughty and Nice Christmas Retailers
(RNS) Don’t let the strains of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” over the store’s audio system fool you. Barnes & Noble is “against” Christmas.
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Buying the Crystal Cathedral: Great Deal or Big Gamble?
(RNS) Even by the depressed metrics of Southern California’s real estate market, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange negotiated a pretty sweet deal.
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Pope Benedict XVI to Visit Cuba, Mexico Next Year
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that he will travel to Cuba and Mexico next year.
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St. Louis Church Channels Anger over Pujols for Good
ST. LOUIS (RNS) As members of The Gathering began to hear of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, they decided to act.
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American Cardinal John Foley Dies at 76
(RNS) Cardinal John P. Foley, the longtime chief of communications for the Vatican, died just outside of his native Philadelphia. He was 76.
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17 Ways to Avoid Invasion of the Pastor Snatchers
17 Ways to Avoid Invasion of the Pastor Snatchers
When you church needs a new pastor, a healthy search process will require patience, spiritual maturity and hard work. It's more than a recruitment search. Done poorly, it can be disastrous.
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Companies Pull Ads from Muslim Reality TV Show
(RNS) Lowe’s has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups.
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Religious Freedom Panel Prepares to Close
WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal watchdog panel that monitors religious freedom around the world is preparing to shut down unless Congress passes a last-minute measure.
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Why Do We Spend Money on Happiness We Can’t Afford?
(RNS) Roberts was watching a Nightline episode on basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal when he heard about the size of his Florida home: 70,000 square feet.
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Young Hip Jews Leading a Hanukkah Music Makeover
(RNS) Put on your boogie shoes—the new Hanukkah songs are here!
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GOP Candidates Make Pitch to Jewish Voters
WASHINGTON (RNS) Newt Gingrich ignited an audience of Republican Jewish activists by promising to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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Poll Suggests Believers Can Be Swayed on Nukes, Environment
WASHINGTON (RNS) Most American believers see preventing climate change or the spread of nuclear weapons as important goals, according to a new poll.
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Israelis, Resentful of Orthodox Grip on Society, Fight Back
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Kolben Dance Company’s studio faces a busy downtown plaza, but few passers-by have ever glimpsed one of the troupe’s rehearsals inside.
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Billy Graham Released from Hospital
(RNS) Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his North Carolina home after a six-day stay in a nearby hospital where he was treated for pneumonia.
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Williams Said Jesus Would Be Siding with Occupy Movement
LONDON (RNS) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says Jesus would have joined protesters from the anti-corporate Occupy movement.
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Israel Inaugurates Gospel Trail to Follow Jesus’ Steps
GALILEE, Israel (RNS) Perched on Tel Kinrot, a hill above the Sea of Galilee, Winston Mah turned his face toward the warm sun.
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Supreme Court Upholds NYC Ban on Churches in Schools
NEW YORK (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court let stand ruling that bars congregations from using space in New York City schools for worship services.
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As Church-based Civil Unions Kick In, Church of England Says No
LONDON (RNS) New laws that allow same-sex civil unions to be performed on religious premises took effect in England and Wales.
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Mainline Protestants Seek Internal Reforms, Stir Anger
(RNS) A list of the Episcopal Church’s 75 commissions, committees, agencies and boards spilled over eight PowerPoint slides during a recent presentation.
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Court Date Nears for American Muslim Wannabomber
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A year ago, a tall, skinny teen named Mohamed Mohamud stepped out of an SUV just north of Portland’s Union Station.
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It’s the Most Wonderfully Holy Time of the Year
(RNS) A quick glimpse at a calendar is one way to see how religiously diverse the United States has become.
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Religious, Political Leaders Call for AIDS-free Generation
WASHINGTON (RNS) A star-studded array from President Obama to rock legend Bono to AIDS activist Kay Warren came together for World AIDS Day.
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One-third of Shelter Residents are Newly Homeless
WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly one in five clients of Christian rescue missions said they were victims of physical violence within the past year.
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Update: Pope Won’t Face Charges for Not Buckling Up
BERLIN (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI can cross an outstanding charge of failing to use a seatbelt from his list of worries.
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D.C. Tosses Complaint Against Catholic University Dorms
WASHINGTON (RNS) The District has dismissed a complaint against the university that charged the school’s return to same-gender student housing discriminates against women.
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2012 Candidates Asked to Sign Religious Freedom Pledge
(RNS) An advocacy organization for persecuted Christians has asked the 2012 presidential candidates to sign a pledge stating they would make religious freedom a priority.
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Anti-Mormon Bias Persistent in Presidential Politics
(RNS) On June 27, 1844, vigilantes cornered a man who claimed to receive messages from God and gunned him down in an Illinois jail after his arrest.
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Pope: Others Should Be Held to Same Abuse Standards
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI said that “all other institutions” should be held to the same “exacting standards” as the Roman Catholic Church.
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Tunisia a Test for Moderate Islam
TUNIS, Tunisia (RNS) The face of political Islam in this fledgling Muslim democracy is a 47-year-old mother of two who favors tailored suits and stiletto heels.
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Accused Janitor Says Priest Blackmailed, Abused Him
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (RNS) For four years, Jose Feliciano told a jury, his rage grew.
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Episcopal Bishop Cleared of Abandonment Charge
(RNS) The Episcopal bishop of South Carolina, who has distanced his diocese from the national denomination, has not “abandoned” the Episcopal Church.
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Charitable Giving Up Slightly but Still Ailing
(RNS) Charitable giving is trickling back up as the economy heals, but it could take years to return to pre-recession levels, nonprofit leaders say.
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Poll: Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Could Be a Primary Problem
(RNS) If Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can secure the nomination, his Mormon faith shouldn’t be an obstacle for voters in the general election.
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Workplace Religious Complaints Double in Last Decade
CLEVELAND (RNS) Northeast Ohio native Suhad Hasan says neither her Muslim faith nor her headscarf should be an issue where she works.
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Religious Groups Spend Nearly $400 million on D.C. Advocacy
WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of religious advocacy groups has more than tripled since the 1970s, with conservative groups seeing the biggest growth.
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Angry Churches Pull Money from Big Banks
(RNS) A small number of religious communities are removing their money to protest what they see as unfair mortgage foreclosures and unwillingness to lend to small businesses.
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Photographer Captures Muslims’ Self-portraits
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Artist Todd Drake has aimed his camera lens at truck drivers, Alzheimer’s patients and employees of an exotic nightclub.
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Atheists Launch Campaign to Get Unbelievers to Come Out
(RNS) The young man in the video pulls in close to his computer camera with the trappings of a typical college dorm room behind him.
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Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law Retires from Prominent Post
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Cardinal Bernard F. Law has stepped down from his controversial post as head of a prominent basilica in Rome.
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Change Comes to Bob Jones University
GREENVILLE, S.C. (RNS) It started in 2005, when the mantle of university president passed to Stephen Jones, Bob Jones III’s son.
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Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Reconciliation in Africa
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI ended his second papal trip to Africa with a call for “reconciliation, justice and peace” in a troubled continent.
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Pope Benedict XVI Begins Second Trip to Africa
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI opened his second papal trip to Africa with a warning against economic development through unbridled capitalism.
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Students Do Interfaith Through Universal Language of Music
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Say the word “interfaith” and the next word to roll off the tongue is probably “dialogue.” It’s hard to think of one without the other.
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Crystal Cathedral is Cautionary Tale for Pastors
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral’s transformation from a Protestant megachurch to a Roman Catholic cathedral should teach pastors not to spend millions on ornate buildings.
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Calif. Court Hands Conservatives a Victory in Prop 8 Case
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The California Supreme Court handed conservatives a big victory by allowing them to defend a statewide ban on gay marriage.
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Episcopal Head Jefferts Schori Answers Critics on Abusive Priest
(RNS) Shori defended her decision to allow a former Roman Catholic monk to become an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor.
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Lawyer Urges Penn State to Lift Confidentiality Claims
(RNS) Hundreds of people around the country who were sexually abused as children will watch in legally imposed silence, says a Boston attorney and expert on such cases.
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Benetton Pulls Pope-kissing Ad
VATICAN CITY (RNS) International clothing retailer Benetton pulled a provocative ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim cleric.
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Sexual Abusers Hard to Profile or Predict
(RNS) The grand jury report reads like a textbook profile of child sexual abuse.
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Catholics to Launch Shelter for Anglicans on Jan. 1
(RNS) A new Roman Catholic structure for Anglican converts in the United States will be formally launched, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington announced.
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Accused Mo. Bishop Accepts Deal to Avoid Second Indictment
(RNS) A Roman Catholic bishop avoided a second criminal charge for failing to report suspected child abuse.
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Nurses Say They Were Forced to Assist in Abortions
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Twelve nurses accused the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey of abruptly forcing them to assist in abortion cases.
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Catholic Bishops Stay Mum on Economic Turmoil
BALTIMORE (RNS) Twenty-five years ago, Catholic bishops issued a statement that became the touchstone for religious opposition to “trickle down” economics.
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Catholic Bishop Backtracks on Limiting Communion Wine
(RNS) The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix has backtracked on plans to restrict Communion wine at Mass after a local outcry and consultation with other bishops.
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Gay, Muslim Groups Relieved by Changes to Bullying Bill
(RNS) A Michigan lawmaker agreed to drop a provision in an anti-bullying bill that would have carved out an exemption for religious or moral beliefs.
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Bishops Welcome Dialogue with Obama as Concerns Remain
BALTIMORE (RNS) The standoff between the White House and the nation’s Catholic bishops over gay marriage and other hot-button issues may be easing.
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N.Y. Clerk Who Refused Gay Marriage Licenses Wins Re-election
LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) The town clerk in Ledyard, N.Y., who drew national attention after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples won re-election.
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Catholic College Sues over Contraception Mandate
(RNS) A small Catholic college has sued saying a new requirement to provide contraceptives contradicts the school’s religious beliefs.
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As Injured Vets Return Home, Congregations Reach Out
NEWTON, Mass. (RNS) Some wounds of war are all too visible—a missing leg, a shattered arm. The invisible wounds are often more difficult to spot.
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Black Seminaries Embrace Hip-hop
WASHINGTON (RNS) Two leading black seminaries think they have found a way to grab the next generation: hip-hop.
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Why Penn State Abuse Is (and Isn’t) Like the Catholic Church
(RNS) Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno is out in the university’s burgeoning sex abuse scandal, and comparisons to the Roman Catholic Church’s own abuse scandals are in.
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Bishops Gear Up for Fight with Obama
(RNS) When the nation’s Catholic bishops gather, the issue that will stand out is their growing resolve to engage in politically charged battles.
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Recognizing Students' Needs in Theological Education
Recognizing Students' Needs in Theological Education
Affordable and accessible theological education starts with recognizing the needs of students and their churches and being able to provide the resources that speak to their context.
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After Miss. Defeat, What’s next for Personhood?
WASHINGTON (RNS) The failure of the “personhood” initiative in Mississippi intensified what appears to be a growing divide in the anti-abortion movement.
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NCC Leader to Step Down
(RNS) The National Council of Churches announced that General Secretary Michael Kinnamon is resigning due to health reasons.
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Study Says Religious Services Make Some Women Happier
A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that there’s a link between optimism and attendance at religious services.
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Overcoming Isolation and Fatigue in Ministry
Overcoming Isolation and Fatigue in Ministry
Ministry leaders today often wrestle with fatigue and weariness. To survive, they must acknowledge they can't do it alone and find others who will support and affirm them.
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Evangelicals Call for Nuclear Cutbacks
WASHINGTON (RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals called for greater precautions with nuclear weapons and a renewed effort toward disarmament.
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Survey Finds Deep Challenges for Romney
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than four in 10 American voters say they are uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon in the White House.
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Catholic Official Resigns over Column
(RNS) A policy adviser to the U.S. Catholic bishops’ anti-gay-marriage office resigned a week after writing a column that blamed Satan for homosexuality.
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Atheists Thrive at Cal Lutheran
(RNS) Evan Clark chose to attend California Lutheran University even though he wasn’t sure how he might fit in as an atheist at a religious school.
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At Religious Campuses, Atheist Groups Operate Underground
(RNS) Late one night over pizza, University of Dayton students Branden King and Nick Haynes discovered neither of them believed in God.
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Amid Tense Relations, Ireland Closes Embassy to the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) After months of tense relations over the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Irish government announced that it will close its embassy to the Vatican.
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Church Prosecutor: Parents Have Duty to Report Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic parents have a “right and duty” to report the sexual abuse of minors, the Vatican’s chief sex abuse investigator said.
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Religious Leaders Lobby Congress for Foreign Aid
WASHINGTON (RNS) As Congress prepares for a high-stakes battle over federal spending, religious leaders are lobbying senators to preserve foreign aid as a moral obligation.
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Catholics Urge Civility in Politics
WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of Catholic elder statesmen called for more civility in politics, saying Catholics have also been subjected to scrutiny.
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Anglicans Won’t Allow Civil Partnerships in Churches
LONDON (RNS) The British government said that same-sex couples will be allowed for the first time to use churches to seal their civil partnership vows.
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Congress Considers Conscience Rights in Health Care
WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholic and other Christian health care providers denounced a rule that requires insurers to cover contraception.
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Saudi-Iran Tensions Overshadow Hajj Pilgrimage
(RNS) Reports last month that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. have enflamed animosity between the two Muslim powers.
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London Cathedral Suspends Legal Action Against Protester
LONDON (RNS) Authorities at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral have decided to suspend legal action against scores of anti-corporate protesters.
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One Torah, Two Tales
METAIRIE, La. (RNS) Until recently, two remarkable stories surrounded the beautiful hand-lettered Torah scroll at Congregation Beth Israel
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Faith-healing Parents Sentenced to Six Years
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) An Oregon judge sentenced two members of a faith-healing church to more than six years in prison.
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Supreme Court Won’t Wade into Roadside Crosses Fight
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court announced that it will not reopen a case concerning highway crosses memorializing Utah state troopers.
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U.S. Seminaries Consider Radical Changes
(RNS) For more than 200 years, Andover Newton Theological School has trained future pastors to have expertise in biblical studies, pastoral care and preaching.
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Leaders vs. Managers: Which Are More Valuable?
Leaders vs. Managers: Which Are More Valuable?
Every organization has leaders and managers. Managers have the gifts to make things run smoothly. Visionary leaders move organizations to the next level. But which are more important?
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Three Ways to Lose the J-Word at Your Church
Three Ways to Lose the J-Word at Your Church
With the professionalizing of the clergy, an unfortunate and unbiblical dualism has arisen across the years. It's at the heart of one of the unhealthiest trends in modern congregational life.
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Crystal Cathedral Endorses Offer to End its Bankruptcy Crisis
(RNS) Crystal Cathedral officials have endorsed an offer from a nearby California university to purchase the glass-walled megachurch.
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Historic London Cathedral Reopens and Moves to Evict Protesters
LONDON (RNS) London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral reopened its doors to visitors for the first time in a week.
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Lawyer Charges Catholic University with Civil Rights Violations
WASHINGTON (RNS) A famously litigious lawyer has filed charges against CUA for not providing Muslim students with prayer rooms.
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Pope Convenes Interfaith Summit
ASSISI, Italy (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI hosted some 300 representatives of world religions for an interfaith summit on justice and peace.
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Faith, Political Leaders Find Out How Far Food Stamps Go
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and members of Congress are getting a firsthand taste of what it’s like to eat on $4.50 a day as part of the “Food Stamp Challenge.”
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Bishops Warn Congress on Threats to Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops dispatched their new point man on religious freedom to warn Congress that religious people risk being labeled as bigots.
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Activists Bemoan Low Priority Given to Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates lamented America’s failure to protect the faithful abroad, saying things have gotten worse.
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Amish Bernie Madoff Won’t Fight Fraud Charges
SUGARCREEK, Ohio (RNS) An investment broker dubbed the “Amish Bernie Madoff” has decided not to fight federal charges that he defrauded thousands of investors.
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Faith Groups Target Super Committee
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious communities are holding prayer vigils, phoning politicians and organizing letter campaigns in a bid to protect safety net programs.
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Muslims Call for Reforms 10 Years after Patriot Act
(RNS) A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the FBI and other federal agencies of “bad policing” and flaunting the Constitution in a 56-page report.
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Muslims Combat Radicalization with Online Tools
WASHINGTON (RNS) A Muslim organization is working to counter radicalization by providing the work of progressive Islam scholars online.
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Clergy Petition Village Voice to Drop Ads Linked to Sex Trafficking
(RNS) Three dozen religious leaders have signed an ad calling on Village Voice Media to remove an adult section of its website.
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Muslim Mortgages in Limbo After Bank Collapse
TORONTO (RNS) The collapse of a lender that offered Shariah-compliant mortgages has left Muslim homeowners in the Toronto area with many questions.
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Shifting Course, St. Paul’s Orders Protesters Out
LONDON (RNS) More than a week after welcoming anti-corporate protesters onto its grounds, London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral now wants them to go away.
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Vatican Blasts Idolatry of Global Markets
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican released an ambitious proposal for global regulation of the financial industry and the international money supply.
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D.C. Pastor to Lead Democrats’ Faith Outreach
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Democratic National Committee has tapped a well-connected Washington pastor to lead the party’s religious outreach.
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Vatican Hails End of Gadhafi Regime
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican called the death of Libya’s longtime leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi the end of a harsh and oppressive regime.
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Church Wrestles with Growth of Wisconsin Shrine to Mary
CHAMPION, Wis. (RNS) Philip and Barbara Hesselbein came to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to pray for a grandson who has an inoperable brain tumor.
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What Would Jesus Laugh At? Quite a Bit, Says Colbert’s Chaplain
(RNS) Three priests—a Dominican, a Franciscan and a Jesuit—walk into a bar. According to the Rev. James Martin, it’s not only the opening to a good joke.
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Pope Appoints New Ambassador to U.S.
(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has named Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano as the Vatican’s next ambassador to the United States.
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Avoiding the Iceberg: 6 Tips for Sinking Churches
Avoiding the Iceberg: 6 Tips for Sinking Churches
With the vast majority of churches in decline – some dramatically – many face a Titanic fate. Here are six steps you can put into practice to avoid your date with the iceberg.
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Pope, 84, Opts for Wheeled Platform at Mass
(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI used a wheeled platform Sunday (Oct. 16) in a measure to “reduce fatigue” on the 84-year-old pope.
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Janitor Accused of Killing Priest Faces Trial
(RNS) Nearly two years after the Rev. Edward Hinds was found dead in the rectory of St. Patrick Church, the janitor charged in his murder is facing trial this week.
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Police Ordered Out of St. Paul’s as Protesters Allowed In
(RNS) Scores of anti-corporate demonstrators invaded London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday.
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Driscoll’s Portland Church Met by Protesters
(RNS) Black-clad demonstrators gathered outside the Portland satellite branch of a Seattle megachurch on Sunday to protest the church’s stance on homosexuality.
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Activist U.S. Priest Arrested at Vatican
(RNS) A Roman Catholic priest from Georgia who is on the verge of expulsion from his religious order was arrested outside the Vatican on Monday.
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Gallup Poll: 35 Percent Oppose Death Penalty
(RNS) More than one-third of Americans now oppose the death penalty—the highest level in nearly 40 years—according to a new Gallup Poll.
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Anti-Gay Post on Teacher’s Facebook Page Stirs Firestorm
(RNS) It began last week with a single online comment, one critical of a high school display marking Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.
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Orthodox Get Green Light to Rebuild at Ground Zero
(RNS) Ten years after tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was destroyed by falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers, church leaders reached an agreement Friday to rebuild at Ground Zero.
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What Really Makes a Pastor a
What Really Makes a Pastor a "Big Dog"
How do pastors become really "big dogs" in the eyes of their church members? It's not how loud you bark that makes the difference; it's what you do over time.
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Law Would Allow Marriage to Catholics for U.K. Royals
(RNS) Future British kings and queens would be permitted to marry Catholics for the first time in more than three centuries.
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Under Pressure, D.C. Shelter Ends Church-service Requirement
WASHINGTON (RNS) A taxpayer-supported homeless shelter in the nation’s capital will no longer require its clients to attend religious services.
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Report Says Tithing, Church Spending Hit Record Low
(RNS) Tithing to mainline Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years.
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Obama Hosts First Evangelical Summit at White House
(RNS) President Obama formally extended his ear to evangelicals ahead of the 2012 election.
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Vatican Treads Carefully on Egyptian Violence
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the killing of two dozen Christian protesters in Egypt.
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Williams Confronts Mugabe with Dossier of Abuse
HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has asked Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to intervene to stop attacks on Anglicans.
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Charges Dropped Against Clergy Who Prayed in Capitol
WASHINGTON (RNS) A city court dropped charges against a group of religious and civic leaders who were arrested during a prayer vigil for the poor.
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Film Explores Shifting Debate over Evolution
(RNS) A new documentary examines the evolving battle over teaching evolution in American classrooms.
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Conservatives Rally Around N.Y. Clerk over Same-sex Marriages
LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) A new YouTube video features a town clerk explaining why she believes she should not have to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
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Jesus' Leadership Model: Servants Over CEOs
Jesus' Leadership Model: Servants Over CEOs
Jesus defines leadership by making it unmistakably clear that real leadership is a way of serving. And a servant leader is committed to the needs and potential of people.
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Protest Chaplains Shepherd Movement’s Spiritual Side
BOSTON (RNS) They were met by typical sounds of raucous youth-led protests: drum beats, police sirens and shouted political slogans.
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Schismatics Discuss Vatican Demands
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Leaders of the group that’s in schism with the Catholic Church met to consider the Vatican’s conditions for reconciliation.
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Poll: Three in Four Pastors Say Mormons Aren’t Christian
WASHINGTON (RNS) A newly released poll says most Protestant pastors in U.S. agree that Mormons are not Christians.
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Why Our Churches Are Filled with
Why Our Churches Are Filled with "Ill" People
Not everyone who is ill is physically sick. Indeed, our churches seem to be brimming with ill-spirited people plagued by personal frustration, anxiety and unhappiness. Why are so few transformed by Christ?
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New Orleans Bids Adieu to Legendary Archbishop
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Thousands of mourners paid their final respects to legendary Archbishop Philip M. Hannan as his casket was slowly lowered.
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GOP Campaigns Court Values Voters at D.C. Summit
WASHINGTON (RNS) Several candidates sought to kick-start their stalling campaigns by preaching a gospel of low taxes and conservative Christian values.
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Study: Teens Leave Churches Seen as Judgmental, Unfriendly
(RNS) Why do young Christians leave the church?
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Poll: Obama Seen as Smartest, Most Honest Candidate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans consider President Obama to be the smartest and most honest presidential candidate against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
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Dalai Lama Calls Off Trip for Tutu’s Birthday After Visa Standoff
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (RNS) An invitation to an 80th birthday party rarely causes ripples—unless it’s the Dalai Lama who’s trying to attend.
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Chief Rabbis Show Support for Burned Israeli Mosque
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s chief rabbis are among the Jews in Israel and abroad who have strongly condemned an arson attack on a mosque in northern Israel.
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Dead Cleric's Videos May Find Eternal Life Online
(RNS) Radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may be dead, but the power of the Internet means he won’t soon be forgotten.
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Civil Rights Icon Fred Shuttlesworth Dies at 89
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (RNS) The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the driving force behind the Birmingham integration efforts, died at age 89.
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Beer, Wine not on Church's List of Immoral Investments
BERLIN (RNS) New guidelines issued by Germany’s largest Protestant body advised parishioners to not invest in companies that make hard liquor.
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Was Christopher Columbus on a Religious Crusade?
(RNS) Two recent books argue that explorers Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama were more like Christian crusaders than greedy mercenaries.
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Bishops Warn that Church Teaching is Nonpartisan
(RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops reminded Catholic voters that they can’t cherry-pick from church teachings to justify their own political preferences.
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Williams Visits Zimbabwe Amid Church-state Standoff
HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will visit Zimbabwe in a show of support for Anglicans.
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Atheists Say Cancer Volunteering Thwarted
(RNS) The American Cancer Society has rejected an atheist group’s bid to field a national team to raise money for cancer research.
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New Calif. Law Prohibits Circumcision Bans
(RNS) Jews, Muslims and their allies cheered as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting all local bans on circumcision.
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As Network Turns 50, Robertson Bows Out of Politics
(RNS) Marking the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of his Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson said he will no longer make political endorsements.
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Jury Convicts Dale, Shannon Hickman of Manslaughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A jury unanimously convicted an Oregon couple, Dale and Shannon Hickman, in the faith-healing death of their infant son.
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Pentagon: Chaplains Can Celebrate Gay Marriages
WASHINGTON (RNS) Military chaplains can lead same-sex marriage ceremonies on and off military bases.
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New Orleans Pastor on Restaurant Quest Can’t Live by Bread Alone
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Minister Ray Cannata’s mission is almost complete.
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Churches Lose Fight over Ala. Immigration Law
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (RNS) A federal judge jolted the national immigration debate by approving most parts of Alabama’s aggressive immigration law.
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Mother Cares for Her Son’s Amish Victims
LANCASTER, Pa. (RNS) Terri Roberts was eating outside with a co-worker on a bright October day when an ambulance wailed nearby and a helicopter swooped overhead.
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Supreme Court to Weigh Churches’ Hiring Rights
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court will hear one of the most important religion cases in decades, centered on religious institutions exemption from anti-discrimination laws.
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U.S. Christians Rally Around Iranian Pastor
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates rallied around an Iranian pastor who is facing execution because he has refused to recant his Christian faith.
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Parents of Dead Baby Defend Use of Faith-healing
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents accused of choosing faith healing over medical care said that given the chance, they would do nothing differently.
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Report Says Trends for U.S. Churches Mostly Pointing Down
(RNS) American congregations have grown less healthy in the last decade, with fewer people in the pews and aging memberships, according to a new Hartford Seminary study.
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Update: Church/jail Sentencing Program Under Review
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (RNS) An alternative sentencing plan that would give inmates the choice between time in jail or a year in church will be delayed.
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Christians Outraged as BBC Drops B.C./A.D. Dating Method
LONDON (RNS) British Christians are incensed after the state-funded BBC decided to jettison the terms B.C. and A.D. in favor of B.C.E. and C.E.
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Dead Sea Scrolls Now Available Online
JERUSALEM (RNS) Five of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now available in digital form to anyone with an Internet connection.
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Criminals Offered Choice of Time in Pews or the Pokey
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (RNS) A new alternative sentencing program offers first-time, nonviolent offenders a choice of a year in church or jail time and fines.
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Best-selling Pastor Is Off to L.A. to Write More books
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (RNS) Megachurch pastor Rob Bell knew it was time to address the “giant, glowing, loud” elephant in the room.
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Amnesty International Slams Irish Catholic Church on Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A new report says the sexual abuse of children by Ireland’s Roman Catholic priests “included acts that amounted to torture."
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Rob Bell Isn’t First Megachurch Pastor to Seek Life Beyond the Pulpit
(RNS) Megachurches have given rise to powerhouse media empires from T.D. Jakes to Max Lucado to Joel Osteen and many others.
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Pope Seeks Protestant Allies to Combat Secularism
BERLIN (RNS) All faiths have to work together to stanch the tide of secularism sweeping the world, warned Pope Benedict XVI.
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Catholic Anti-abortion Group in Financial Trouble
(RNS) A leading Catholic anti-abortion group reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations.
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Pope Begins First State Visit to Homeland
BERLIN (RNS) Thousands of people turned out for Pope Benedict XVI’s first official visit to his native Germany.
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Catholics Warn of National Conflict over Gay Marriage
NEW YORK (RNS) The nation’s top Catholic bishop issued a stern challenge to the Obama administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage.
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Evangelicals Line Up Behind Rick Perry
(RNS) From media mavens to grassroots activists, conservative Christian leaders are heaping praise on presidential candidate Rick Perry.
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Catholics Asked to Fight Birth Control Insurance Rule
(RNS) Catholics around the country are being asked to object in writing to a new federal rule that will require birth control coverage.
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Clock Is Ticking for Religious Freedom Panel
WASHINGTON (RNS) The independent and bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom could be forced to shut its doors.
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Religious Groups Latch On to the Groupon Craze
CHICAGO (RNS) Social deals are going spiritual. A growing number of entrepreneurs are making a go with sites specifically targeting religious groups.
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Many Americans See God’s Hand in Economy
(RNS) The way you see God tells a lot about how you see the U.S. economy, according to a new national survey.
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Does Meditation Help Fuel Entrepreneurial Success?
(RNS) Entrepreneurs behave just like most Americans when it comes to religion—but with one spiritual twist.
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Atheists press to ban creationism from U.K. schools
LONDON (RNS) A group of 30 leading scientists are pressing the British government to ban all teaching of creationism in the nation’s publicly funded schools.
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Four Ways That Leaders Learn Leadership
Four Ways That Leaders Learn Leadership
So how do you learn to be a leader? Using the challenges of their present assignments, effective leaders hone their leadership abilities and grow as leaders.
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Atheists Target Clergy Housing Tax Break
(RNS) A long-standing tax break for clergy and other “ministers of the gospel” is facing the newest in a string of challenges in federal court.
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Groups Press Obama on Religious Hiring
WASHINGTON (RNS) Dozens of religious and civil rights organizations challenged President Obama to end religious discrimination in federally funded jobs.
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Failing Churches Find New Life as Outposts for Megachurches
PELHAM, Ala. (RNS) Five years ago, Living Word Church was unable to pack more than about 80 people into its 280-seat sanctuary.
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Christian Bookstores Try to Gain off Borders’ Loss
(RNS) The saying goes that when God closes a door, he opens a window.
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Bishop Says Anti-abortion Activist not Facing Charges
(RNS) Pavone and his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, are seeking a way out of the tense standoff.
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Lawyers Say Faith-healing Parents Unfairly Targeted
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Attorneys for two parents vowed to show that prosecutors engaged in “meddling, interference and questionable conduct.”
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Do Atheists Have a Sexism Problem?
(RNS) Rebecca Watson meant it as a funny story, almost an aside.
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More Americans Desiging Make-your-own Religion
(RNS) If World War II-era warbler Kate Smith sang today, her anthem could be “Gods Bless America.”
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Vatican Gives Conservative Group an Ultimatum
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Reconciliation between the pope and a schismatic group is impossible unless the group accepts the last half-century of modernizing reforms.
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Presbyterians Target Caterpillar for Divestment
(RNS) A Presbyterian Church (USA) committee will recommend that the church add heavy equipment giant Caterpillar to its divestment list.
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Some Churches Cancel Sunday School, Put Parents in Charge
(RNS) Don’t look for children’s Sunday school classes at Ridgewood Church in Port Arthur, Texas. And forget about scavenger hunts and water park trips.
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How Does Someone Become a Leader?
How Does Someone Become a Leader?
Leadership is more than being placed in a position of authority. Leaders often emerge in times of change or crisis, and they've been good stewards of the resources given to them.
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State Dept. Chides Eight Countries on Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) The State Department designated eight nations as the most serious violators of religious freedom.
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Victims Say Criminal Charges Against Pope Aren’t a Stunt
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A campaign to hold the pope responsible for “crimes against humanity” is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say.
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Swell of Clergy Rallies Around Ga. Death Row Inmate
(RNS) In a last-minute bid to stop a Sept. 21 execution in Georgia, religious leaders have rallied in previously unseen numbers to call for clemency.
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Fourth Faith-healing Trial in Two Years Starts This Week
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) When the trial of Dale and Shannon Hickman begins this week, the curtain again rises on a familiar tragedy.
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Muslim Groups File Petition Against Islamic law
(RNS) A coalition of Muslim groups say they don’t want to live under Shariah law in Michigan or anywhere else.
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Episcopal Bishop Who Won Heresy Trial Dies at 87
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter died at the age of 87.
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Christian Women Take on Leadership in Arab World
Christian Women Take on Leadership in Arab World
Times are changing in the Arab world as more Christian women assume positions of leadership. But, as two women point out, more women need the courage to step out of their comfort zones.
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Pope Links British Riots to Moral Relativism
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI linked last month’s riots in England to the corrosive effects of moral relativism.
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After 9/11, Some Run Toward Faith, Some Run the Other Way
(RNS) Sean Tallon was nearing the end of his probationary training as a New York City firefighter when the two hijacked planes hit the twin towers.
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Megachurch Seeks to Reassure New Portland Neighbors
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) The pastor sought to reassure his new neighbors about the church’s philosophy.
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Outspoken Archbishop Takes the Reins in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (RNS) Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was installed as leader of the 1.5-million strong Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
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Okla. Anti-Shariah Amendment Heads to Appeals Court
(RNS) An amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that bans state judges from considering Islamic law will face its next legal hurdle.
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Clergy Denounce Anti-Muslim Bigotry
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders gathered to remember the victims, foster interreligious unity and speak out in defense of religious freedom.
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Crane Topples at National Cathedral
WASHINGTON (RNS) A 500-foot crane toppled over next to the Washington National Cathedral, adding to the earthquake damage that the crane was brought in to fix.
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Justice Dept. settles in mosque construction dispute
WASHINGTON (RNS) The DOJ announced a settlement with Henrico County, Va., over the county’s alleged violation of a federal anti-discrimination law.
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Bloomberg, Faith Groups Face off Over 9/11 Prayers
NEW YORK (RNS) Critics hope enough pressure will convince Bloomberg to allow clergy to speak Sunday at ceremonies to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
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Kevin Smith Does It Again
(RNS) Don’t believe most of what you’ll hear about Kevin Smith’s new movie, “Red State.”
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Poll: Americans Are Tolerant of Other Faiths—Except Islam
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans consider religious freedom a cornerstone of society, but fall short in their tolerance of Muslims.
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Report: KC diocese put children in jeopardy
(RNS) The Roman Catholic Diocese could have put children in jeopardy when it failed to follow guidelines for reporting clergy sexual abuse.
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`Roamin’ Catholics’ Wander in Search of New Church
CLEVELAND (RNS) They call themselves “Roamin’ Catholics,” traveling from church to church, looking for a new place to worship.
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Calif. Man Becomes a Pioneer for Gay Mormons
(RNS) Mitch Mayne is not the first openly gay person to hold a key leadership post but he may be the first to announce it from the pulpit.
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Four Leadership Lessons We Can Learn from Steve Jobs
Four Leadership Lessons We Can Learn from Steve Jobs
With Steve Jobs' announcing his resignation as Apple's CEO due to health issues, many are extolling his virtues as a visionary leader. Here are four lessons we can learn from him.
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Catholics Pitch In to Repair National Cathedral
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is donating $25,000 to help repair the Washington National Cathedral.
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Dean of Black Preachers Defends Obama
(RNS) In a new book, the Rev. Gardner Taylor decries the treatment of President Obama by his critics.
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Five Facts about Dominionism
(RNS) In recent weeks, an arcane and scary-sounding religious term has crept into the lexicon of the 2012 campaign.
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Vatican Blasts New York’s Sex Ed Program
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican took a swipe at new sex education classes in New York City schools.
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Four Political Litmus Tests for the Common Good
Four Political Litmus Tests for the Common Good
Voter guides provided a litmus test to rate candidates on hot-button issues. Perhaps we need a new litmus test – one that rates candidates on what's best for the common good.
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Survey: Muslim Americans Have Moderate Views
(RNS) Almost half the nation’s estimated 2.8 million Muslims fault their leaders for not speaking out against Islamic extremists.
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Americans Flunk Question on Captain America vs. Bible
(RNS) Pop quiz: Who said “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up”?
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At 39, Gordon President Leads Evangelical Up-and-comers
WENHAM, Mass. (RNS) Lindsay has been living the very phenomenon he’s studied in depth: evangelicals climbing the ranks of institutions and becoming elites.
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Africa's Hunger Crisis Reveals U.S. Leadership Crisis
Africa's Hunger Crisis Reveals U.S. Leadership Crisis
More than 11 million people in the Horn of Africa are expected to need food assistance until August 2012. And the lack of a U.S. response to this hunger crisis points to a failure in leadership.
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When the Swamp's on Fire: Navigating a Church Crisis
When the Swamp's on Fire: Navigating a Church Crisis
Sooner or later, most ministers will face a crisis that threatens to get out of control in a congregation's life. Here are five things to remember when the "swamp is on fire."
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Bachmann’s Prophecy, Joke or Not, Has Lots of Company
(RNS) Bachmann is facing a flood of criticism for suggesting, perhaps in jest, that God sent Hurricane Irene and the East Coast earthquake.
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Poll: N.Y. May Be More Spiritual, but Not Because of 9/11
(RNS) The uptick in faith may be a matter of coincidence rather than a religious response to the terrorist attacks.
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Pastor Probes `Where Was God?’ in Katrina
(RNS) Katrina brought in its wake untold property damage and emotional distress to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but also something deeper.
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Religious Leaders Laud King in Memorial Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.

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Rabbis Distribute Special Shabbat Guidelines for Hurricane
NEW YORK (RNS) Observant Jews are permitted to sidestep traditional Sabbath rules on electronics and listen to the radio as Hurricane Irene bears down.
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Report Details Roots, Funding of Islamophobia machine
(RNS) A small number of conservative foundations are propelling a handful of anti-Islamic activists who are fueling rising levels of Islamophobia.
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Activists Meet to Push Change in Methodists’ Gay policy
CLEVELAND (RNS) Hundreds of United Methodists are meeting in Huron, Ohio, this week in an uphill bid to make their 12 million-member denomination more gay-friendly.
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Fallen 9/11 Priest Emerges as An Icon for Gay Catholics
(RNS) The body belonged to the Rev. Mychal Judge, a Franciscan fire chaplain. Later, a half-hidden secret emerged about the gallant priest: he was gay.
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Quake-damaged National Cathedral Faces Millions in Repairs
WASHINGTON (RNS) The iconic Washington National Cathedral, already struggling with financial problems, faces millions of dollars in repair costs.
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9/11 Gives Birth to New Generation of Assertive Muslims
(RNS) Under a cloud of suspicion and distrust after the 9/11 attacks, there were stories of mosque leaders telling their flocks to lie low.
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After 9/11, Curiosity over Islam Leads to Conversion
BOSTON (RNS) Johannah Segarich asked herself: “What kind of religion is this that could inspire people to do this?”
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National Cathedral Suffers `Significant Damage' in Quake
(RNS) The earthquake that rumbled up the East Coast from Virginia on Tuesday (Aug. 23) "significantly damaged" the central tower of Washington National Cathedral.
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Vatican Summons Traditionalists to Rome
(RNS) The Vatican has summoned the head of a traditionalist group toRome to assess the results of a two-year doctrinal dialogue between the schismatic group and the Holy See.
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9/11 Marked Crucial Turn in Vatican-Muslim Relations
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A few weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pope John Paul II invited Muslim leaders to an interfaith prayer summit in Assisi, Italy.
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American Politics More Religious than American Voters
The country has grown less religious since the 1970s, while frequent churchgoers are now much more likely to vote Republican or support the Tea Party, according to recent studies.
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Illinois Catholics Lose Fight over Adoptions, Foster Care
(RNS) An Illinois judge has ruled that the state can terminate adoption and foster care services with Catholic Charities.
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Religious Leaders Battle Alabama Immigration Law
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Alabama religious leaders say that a new immigration law would interfere with the practice of their religion.
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Congregations Go for Creation Care, One Barrel at a Time
WASHINGTON (RNS) Irrigating from a rain barrel saves water that would otherwise come from a municipal water system.
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A Soundtrack for Your Inner Dude
(RNS) In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, “Lojong” is the practice of training one’s mind to be clearer and more compassionate.
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Pope, in Spain, Laments Hedonism, Greedy Economy
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the “superficiality, consumerism and hedonism” of contemporary society.
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Civil Rights Veterans Say MLK Monument Long Overdue

WASHINGTON (RNS) At age 93, the Rev. Gardner Taylor never thought he'd live to see the day when his friend would be honored with a national memorial.

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Senators Probe Politics and Piety in New Books
WASHINGTON (RNS) Truth be told, when asked to name a spiritual role model, few people would likely pick a sitting U.S. senator.
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Priests in Madrid Allowed to Lift Excommunication for Abortion
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Priests at World Youth Day will be specially empowered to lift excommunication for having undergone or assisted in an abortion.
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King’s Nephew Named to Head Civil Rights Group
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
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Intrepid Young Activists Push Condoms at World Youth Day
(RNS) A small band of young people are going to talk about condoms at World Youth Day, the triennial Catholic jamboree that opens soon in Madrid.
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Evangelical, Fundamentalist and Born-again Aren’t the Same
(RNS) I was dining with friends in New York when the conversation turned to religion and politics.
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Ohio Pastor Elected to Lead Breakaway Lutheran Church
(RNS) Members of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) have elected an Ohio pastor as their new head bishop.
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Black Baptists Decry Disrespect Directed at Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
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Got Questions About Islam? Hotline Has Answers
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Like many American Muslims, Asim Khan is tired of the prejudice against his religion.
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Judge Rules for Atheist Bus Ads
(RNS) A federal judge ruled that the public transit system in Little Rock violated the free speech of atheists by refusing to run their advertisements.
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Jedis and Pastafarians: Real Religion or Joke?
(RNS) When congregants of West Side Church awoke in June to news that their churches had been vandalized, they expected to be frustrated.
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A `Christian’ Europe Without Christianity
(RNS) Does European Christendom need Christianity to survive?
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Left, Right Face Off on Facebook to Elect Online Pope
VATICAN CITY (RNS) With Pope Benedict XVI in good health, few are talking about his replacement.
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Quran-burning Pastor Plans 9/11 Visit to Ground Zero
(RNS) Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones will visit Ground Zero on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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The Divine Surprises of Adoption
(RNS) Jennifer Grant has posted prayers to remind her that parenthood is both a labor of love and a sacred calling.
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Charity Group Brings Dollars, and Controversy
(RNS) Shopping for a flat screen TV typically isn’t that controversial. Arguments may ensue, but those quarrels are usually short-lived.
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Priest Won’t Stop Push for Women’s Ordination
(RNS) The Roman Catholic priest who faces expulsion from the priesthood for advocating for women to be ordained as priests is refusing to recant.
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Peace Service Held Amid London Riots
LONDON (RNS/ENInews) The annual peace service at Westminster Cathedral acquired fresh significance as Londoners gathered to pray for their city.
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Religious Restrictions Increased for 2 billion, Study Says
(RNS) A third of the world live in nations where restrictions on religion have substantially increased, according to a new report.
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Catholic Priest Faces Expulsion for Supporting Women’s Ordination
(RNS) A Roman Catholic priest who has campaigned for the ordination of women has been told he will be expelled if he does not publicly recant.
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States Scramble to Find Prison Chaplains After Cuts
RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) Betty Brown has been crisscrossing the state searching for volunteers who can attend to the religious needs of prisoners.
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Prominent Prison Ministry Fires 72, Citing Economy
(RNS) Prison Fellowship, a prominent evangelical ministry to inmates, has laid off dozens of employees, citing the faltering economy.
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Religious Groups Irked by Contraception Mandate
(RNS) The Obama administration is taking heat from religious groups upset that new federal health regulations may force them to pay for employees’ birth control.
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Unitarian Universalist Head Convicted on Protest Charges
(RNS) The head of the Unitarian Universalist Association has been convicted on misdemeanor charges for participating in a protest rally.
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Mormons Launch Group to Defend Against Media Attacks
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A group of church loyalists felt the time was ripe to begin scrutinizing media reports for inaccuracies about the Utah-based faith.
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Army Agrees to Host Concert for Atheists on N.C. Base
(RNS) A group of military atheists have won the backing of U.S. Army officials to hold a “Rock Beyond Belief” concert for nonbelievers at Fort Bragg.
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Lawn Cross Becomes First Amendment Flash Point
LIVINGSTON, N.J. (RNS) It could have implications far beyond the quiet New Jersey street where Patrick Racaniello affixed a wooden cross in his front yard.
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Manhattan Declaration Comes to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Nearly 200 pastors, policymakers and other New Orleans-area Christians were urged to sign a declaration circulating nationally.
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Study of Secularism Sees Boost on College Campuses
(RNS) Almost every major college and university offers a degree in religious studies. But secularism? Nary a one—until now.
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At Church of Beethoven, Music Is the Message
(RNS) “Music,” Ludwig van Beethoven said, “is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
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With Spotlight on Mormon Faith, Scholars Gather to Defend It
(RNS) Mormon founder Joseph Smith may have declared all churches to be wrong, even apostate, but he also defined Mormonism as an inclusivist faith.
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Colleges Sign Up for Obama’s Interfaith Program
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 250 colleges, universities and seminaries have submitted plans to the White House for yearlong interfaith service projects.
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Judge Bars Witch Hunt Comment from Faith-healing Trial
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (RNS) A state medical examiner will not be allowed to offer "witch hunt" opinion when the defendants go to trial next month.
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Poll: American Muslims Hopeful About Life in the U.S.
(RNS) Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, an extensive new survey of Muslims finds them as optimistic as other Americans.
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Faith Leaders Challenge Alabama’s Immigration Law
(RNS) Leaders of the Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches filed a federal lawsuit to stop enforcement of the state’s new immigration law.
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Women Show Deep Drop in Church Attendance, Survey Says
(RNS) Women, long considered the dominant pew dwellers in the nation’s churches, have shown a dramatic drop in attendance in the last two decades.
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Zondervan Brings Rob Bell to the App World
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) A film series founded by megachurch pastor and author Rob Bell is finding new life as a smartphone app.
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More Catholic Departures Than Baptisms for First Time in Germany
BERLIN (RNS) For the first time since membership records have been kept, more Germans departed the Roman Catholic Church than were baptized into it in 2010.
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Germans Await Pope’s Return, This Time as a Statesman
BERLIN (RNS) A German visiting Germany isn’t normally big news, even if it’s a famous expatriate German returning home for a visit.
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Norway’s Churches Try to Foster Healing after Attacks
TRONDHEIM (RNS/ENInews) A Norwegian bishop said his country has “countered this insane terrorism by demonstrating love and solidarity.”
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Head of Southern Christian Leadership Conference Dies
(RNS) The Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., chosen early this year as the new president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died at the age of 57.
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Vatican Unveils New JPII iPhone App for World Youth Day
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pilgrims at next month’s Catholic World Youth Day in Madrid will have some high-tech help in their devotions.
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Vatican’s U.S. Envoy, Who Helped Shape U.S. Church, Dies
(RNS) Archbishop Pietro Sambi died at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, succumbing to complications from lung surgery performed a few weeks earlier.
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Judge Tosses Out San Fran’s Circumcision Referendum
(RNS) A proposed circumcision ban will not appear on San Francisco’s citywide ballot in November, a Superior Court judge tentatively ruled.
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Stott, Called Evangelical Pope, Dies at age 90
(RNS) The Rev. John Stott, a renowned and prolific author credited with shaping 20th-century evangelical Christianity, died in England at age 90.
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HBO Film Follows Muslim Children Competing to Memorize the Quran
(RNS) The movie follows three Muslim children as they compete in a tournament that requires young contestants to recite portions of the Quran.
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Christians Divided on Belgium’s Burqa Ban
(RNS/ENInews) Belgian Christians expressed mixed reactions to the country’s new “burqa ban,” as Belgium joined France in criminalizing the Islamic veil.
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Catholic Bishops Urge House Against Steep Budget Cuts
(RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to reject a cuts-only approach to the budget.
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Faith-healing Parents Lose Custody of Daughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) State officials will retain custody of a girl whose parents treated the girl’s condition with prayer.
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Episcopalians Turn to Social Media for Growth
(RNS) The Episcopal Church is urging congregations to embrace social media websites in a push to highlight the Internet as a tool for church growth.
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Church-state Groups Slam Obama on Hiring Issue
WASHINGTON (RNS) The status-quo stance on the issue of faith-based hiring has drawn criticism from atheists and church-state watchdogs.
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Knowing the Right Time for Career or Ministry Change
Knowing the Right Time for Career or Ministry Change
Do you sense it's time for a change in your ministry or career? How do you know when a change is the right path? Of the many reasons for change, one is good.
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U.S. Conservatives on the Defensive after Oslo Killings
(RNS) For years, many religious and political conservatives in the U.S. have sought to connect Islam to violence carried out by Muslims.
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Poll: God Has Better Approval Ratings than Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress.
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Vatican Recalls Irish Ambassador over Abuse Report
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland for “consultations” on the official church response to the government report.
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Poll: Anti-Muslim Sentiment Grew after Bin Laden Death
(RNS) Many Muslim Americans had hoped that the death of Osama bin Laden would improve their image among other Americans.
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Willow Creek Cuts Ties with Ex-gay Exodus International
(RNS) Willow Creek Community Church has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization.
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La. Monks Win Right to Build, Sell Caskets
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A federal judge said a state law that limits the sale of caskets to licensed funeral directors and establishments is unconstitutional.
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Imams Trained to Adapt Islamic Finance to U.S. Economy
(RNS) Abdullah Nana, an imam at the Islamic Center of Mill Valley, Calif., has a distinct advantage over many of his fellow imams in the United States.
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Blogosphere Abuzz over Murdoch as Bible Mogul
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) The scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid empire continues to widen, bringing scrutiny to the Zondervan publishing company.
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Churches Press Obama to Protect Poor in Budget Talks
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama agrees with religious officials’ concerns about protecting the poor, according to leaders who met with him this week.
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Campus Crusade Ditches Name for 'Cru'
(RNS) Campus Crusade for Christ is out. “Cru” is in.
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Senators Debate Bill to Recognize Gay Marriages
WASHINGTON (RNS) Senators wrestled with issues of faith and religious freedom as they debated a new bill to recognize same-sex marriages.
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As Candidates Run for Office, Some Run from Their Church
(RNS) On a recent Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gave a Pentecostal church in Iowa an intimate account of her pilgrimage to devout Christian.
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Watkins Re-elected President of Disciples
(RNS) The Christian Church voted to re-elect the Rev. Sharon Watkins as head of the denomination capping off a weeklong assembly.
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Chaput Will Upend Convention in the Most Conventional of Cities
(RNS) The most obvious reason he was sent to take over the prestigious Archdiocese of Philadelphia was the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
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Hindus Sue Restaurant over Meat Mistake
EDISON, N.J. (RNS) A group of Hindus can sue an Edison restaurant for money to travel to India, where they say they must purify their souls after eating meat.
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Neither We, Nor Michele Bachmann, Are Anti-Catholic
MILWAUKEE (RNS) Recent news reports have thrust the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) into the middle of a presidential campaign.
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Pennsylvania Debates Whether Thou Shalt not Hunt on the Sabbath
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Two of the most influential forces in conservative lobbying are poised to go head-to-head this fall over this difficult issue.
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Churches Divided on Hungary’s New Religion Law
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders in Hungary are divided over a restrictive new law on religion.
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Six Reasons Why Successful Leaders Collaborate
Six Reasons Why Successful Leaders Collaborate
Some leaders prefer to go it alone. Although working with a group on any project can have pitfalls and frustrations, successful leaders know the value of collaboration. Here are six reasons.
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Ireland Pushes Priests to Report Confessed Sex Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Ireland’s prime minister said Catholic priests could be jailed for failing to report child sex abuse crimes they hear during confession.
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Court Says Store Discriminated Against Muslim
(RNS) Abercrombie & Fitch violated civil rights law when the clothier refused to hire a Muslim woman because she wears a headscarf.
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More Questions, Fewer Answers, on the Afterlife
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) For millennia, people have been trying to imagine what happens after death. Is there an afterlife, a heaven? Who gets in?
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Bachmann’s Former Church Defends Anti-Catholic Views
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Lutheran denomination that Rep. Michele Bachmann quit in June sought to explain its belief that the papacy is the anti-Christ.
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China Ordains Another Bishop Without Vatican OK
VATICAN CITY (RNS) China’s state-run Catholic church ordained another bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
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Pawlenty Woos Evangelicals with Faith Video
WASHINGTON (RNS) Pawlenty has sharpened efforts to woo evangelical voters in Iowa by releasing a video where he speaks candidly about his faith.
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The Two Most Dangerous Words You Can Say
The Two Most Dangerous Words You Can Say
People explain away the most obscene actions or attitudes with two words: Yes, but. These words reveal that we believe we are the exception to any rule. Fortunately, there's a solution.
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Polygamists Challenge Utah’s Anti-polygamy Law
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Utah’s complicated history with polygamy starts a new chapter as a reality-show family challenges the state’s ban on plural marriage.
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Irish Government Releases Damning Abuse Report
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A special commission sponsored by the Irish government criticized a bishop for failing to report allegations of clerical sex abuse.
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Pastors Lobby for Poor in Heated Deficit Talks
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 4,000 pastors told Congress that churches would not be able to fill the gap facing social service providers if deep cuts are made.
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Toronto School Defends Muslim Prayers in Cafeteria
TORONTO (RNS) A majority-Muslim public school in Toronto is defending its policy of allowing an imam to lead Friday prayers in the cafeteria.
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NBC Apologizes to Congress for Edited Pledge
WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC has issued a formal apology to more than 100 members of Congress for omitting the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Panel Says Judges Have Been too Hard on U.K. Christians
LONDON (RNS) A panel said judges have erred in supporting employers who fire Christian workers for such acts as wearing crosses.
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Bishop Loses Appeal over Holocaust Remarks
BERLIN (RNS) A bishop who said he didn’t believe the Holocaust faces a reduced fine of $9,110 for incitement, a German appeals court ruled.
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Iowa Marriage Pledge Drops Reference to Slavery
WASHINGTON (RNS) An conservative Christian organization has removed language about slavery from a pledge to uphold traditional marriage.
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Catholics Return Check from Lawmaker over Marriage Vote
RNS) A New York lawmaker has found himself at odds with the Roman Catholic Church after a parish school refused a $50 donation.
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House Directs Pentagon to Uphold DOMA Law on Gay Marriage
WASHINGTON (RNS) House lawmakers voted to order the Pentagon to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
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Presbyterians to Officially Allow Gay Clergy
(RNS) Presbyterians are prepping to celebrate the passage of a policy that allows gay pastors to serve openly for the first time in the denomination’s history.
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Author Says Amish Thrift Makes Sense by Saving Cents
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) While not ready to go off the electric grid, Craker said living like the Amish financially makes a lot of sense.
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Mormons Add Shorter Stints to Boost Missionaries
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) They’re hoping that less will mean more: less time and expense, more missionaries.
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Catholics Look into Buying Crystal Cathedral
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has an interested party that needs a large cathedral: the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif.
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Church-state Groups Seek Equal Play for Atheist Concert
WASHINGTON (RNS) Activist groups criticized the Army for allowing an evangelical concert at Fort Bragg but not a concert for nonbelievers.
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Dalai Lama Turns 76 as He Kicks Off D.C. Peace Festival
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Dalai Lama celebrated his 76th birthday by speaking before throngs of well-wishers at an 11-day peace event in the U.S. capital.
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Episcopal Church Defends Top Bishop’s Record in Nevada Abuse Case
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse.
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Saintly Relics, from the Macabre to the Magnificent
(RNS) St. Patrick’s tooth. Justin Bieber’s hair clippings. The bloodstained gloves that Mary Todd Lincoln carried to Ford’s Theatre. What do they have in common?
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Schismatic Bishop Faces Trial over Holocaust Denial
BERLIN (RNS) Lawyers for British Bishop Richard Williamson say he shouldn’t be punished for downplaying the severity of the Holocaust.
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Schuller Loses Vote at Crystal Cathedral
(RNS) Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller has been removed from a voting position on the board of the iconic glass megachurch.
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City Attorney Questions Proposed Circumcision Ban
(RNS) The city’s top lawyer has concluded it is unconstitutional to ban the practice as a religious ritual, but allow it as a medical procedure.
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Mormon Leaders Told to Stay Out of Politics
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon officials are telling their top, full-time leaders that they and their spouses should not participate in political campaigns.
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Pastor Preaches Brotherly Love for his Co-pastor Sister
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Decades ago, Daniel Parker would pretend to be a preacher, belting out sermons as he jumped up and down on his bed.
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Calif. Bbishop Resigns, Citing Exhaustion from Sex Abuse Cases
(RNS) A Roman Catholic bishop in California resigned, saying he is “exhausted” from dealing with clergy sexual abuse cases in his Santa Rosa diocese.
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Mo. Congressman Apologizes for God Comment
(RNS) A Missouri congressman has apologized for telling a national radio audience that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.”
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Houston VA Cemetery Draws Discrimination Claims
(RNS) People are outraged that a Veterans Affairs official in Houston discriminates against clergy who want to use religious references in memorial ceremonies.
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A Church by Any Other Name
(RNS) For Living Faith Lutheran Church, the name change was as much about the future as the past.
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Evangelical Leader to Retire from Minn. Pulpit
(RNS) Evangelical leader Leith Anderson has announced plans to retire as senior pastor of his Eden Prairie, Minn. megachurch.
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China Ordains Bishop without Vatican Approval
(RNS) China’s state-run Catholic church ordained a bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
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How Long Do You Think Your Church Will Survive?
How Long Do You Think Your Church Will Survive?
Congregations, like marriages and other relationships, must come to the startling realization that the future is not a sure thing before they are willing to try something new or different.
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Justices Rely on Standing in Church-state Disputes
WASHINGTON (RNS) Legal scholars say a decision issued two months ago is likely to resonate within church-state debates for years to come.
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Liechtenstein Churches May Lose Government Support
(RNS/ENInews) Churches in Liechtenstein could face financial disaster under government plans to withdraw state subsidies under new legislation.
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Can a Creedless Religion Make It Another 50 Years?
BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology.
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Evangelicals, WCC, Vatican Reach Accord on Proselytizing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Christian missionaries should renounce all “deception and coercive means” of winning converts.
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Liberals Angry After Congressman’s God Comments
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (RNS) A congressman is catching flak from some liberals for saying last week that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.”
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Southern Baptists Wrestle with Gay Hoax
(RNS) Officials of the SBC say they were the victims of a hoax when a group claiming to be them announced it had started to support gay marriage.
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Orthodox Rally to Rebuild Ground Zero Church
NEW YORK (RNS) Parishioners and supporters of a Greek Orthodox church rallied at Ground Zero in hopes of resuming negotiations to rebuild the church.
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Faith-healing Parents Sentenced to 90 days in Jail
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A county judge sentenced two members of a faith-healing church to 90 days in jail and three years probation.
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Israeli Ambassador Backpedals on Wartime Pope Comments
(RNS) After strong criticism from the Jewish community, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican backpedaled from his praise of Pope Pius XII.
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Jewish Concerns Remain as Delta, Saudis Deny Discrimination
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Saudi Arabian embassy denied as “completely false” reports that U.S. Jews would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia.
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Israeli Ambassador Praises Wartime Pope
(RNS) Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican praised the controversial wartime Pope Pius XII for his “actions to save the Jews” during the Holocaust.
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Report Says Islamophobia on the Rise
(RNS) A new report asserts that anti-Muslim prejudice has worsened in recent years, but argues the trend could be reversed with greater community outreach.
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U.S. Jews Not Able to Fly on Delta Flights to Saudi Arabia
JERUSALEM (RNS) Jews and Israelis will not be able to fly code-share flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s new partnership.
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Pawlenty Leads in Informal Poll of Evangelical Leaders
WASHINGTON (RNS) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the top Republican pick of evangelical leaders, according to an informal survey.
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Lesbian Minister Suspended for 20 Days
(RNS) A United Methodist minister was suspended for 20 days by a church court in Wisconsin for performing a same-sex union in 2009.
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Evangelicals See Declining Influence in U.S.
(RNS) Are U.S. evangelicals losing their influence on America? A new poll released from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seems to say just that.
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Churches Call for U.S. to Pull Out of Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of 40 religious leaders called for the president to “bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.”
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Leaving God out of Pledge Tees off Ohio Congressman
WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC’s decision to edit the word “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance has teed off an Ohio congressman.
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Conservatives Want Senator to Resign after Affair
WASHINGTON (RNS) The president of the Christian conservative Family Policy Network sent Sen. David Vitter, R-La., a letter calling on him to resign.
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Orthodox Basketball Player Allowed to Cover Her Arms
JERUSALEM (RNS) The federation has decided to permit an Orthodox Jewish basketball player to cover her arms during competitions.
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Pawlenty’s Prominent Pastor not a Political Pawn
(RNS) When GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty goes to church, he knows he’ll hear a 27-minute sermon—never longer, never shorter.
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Lesbian Minister to Face Methodist Church Trial
(RNS) United Methodists will begin a trial against a minister who’s accused of celebrating a same-sex marriage and being in a lesbian relationship.
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Van Impe Leaves TBN over Chrislam Remarks
(RNS) Jack Van Impe has ended his decades-long run on TBN after a dispute over naming ministers that he accuses of mixing Christian and Muslim beliefs.
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Church of England to Allow Gay Bishops—Sort Of
LONDON (RNS) The Church of England has issued a set of “legal guidelines” that pave the way for openly gay clergy to become bishops.
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Left-leaning Christians to Rally around Wild Goose
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) The bygone staple of the tent revival will be reincarnated on a bucolic North Carolina farm as The Wild Goose Festival.
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Oregon Strips Faith-healing Parents of Legal Defenses
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) There is a new law that removes the remnants of Oregon’s legal protection for parents who rely solely on faith healing.
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Rowan Williams Sparks a Political Row in England
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Nearly a millennium ago, four unruly knights crossed the English Channel from France and confronted the archbishop of Canterbury.
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Bishop Calls Ala. Immigration Law Nation’s Meanest
(BIRMINGHAM) A new Alabama law is the “meanest” immigration law in the country, according to a United Methodist bishop and respected theologian.
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Bishops Leave Sex Abuse Policies Largely Intact
BELLEVUE, Wash. (RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted to maintain current church policies on the sexual abuse of children.
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Black Churches Push Prostate Cancer Awareness
(RNS) Thomas A. Farrington isn’t looking for cards or a tie this Father’s Day. What he really wants is for other black men with cancer to know they’re not alone.
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Bishops Open Meeting to Review Sex Abuse Rules
BELLEVUE, Wash. (RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops began a review of church sex abuse policies.
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Vatican Tries to Revive Eucharistic Adoration
VATICAN CITY (RNS) For seven centuries, Eucharistic adoration was one of the most popular forms of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church.
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Goshen College Silences National Anthem Again
(RNS) Goshen College will no longer play The Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events, school leaders announced.
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Southern Baptists Look to Minorities to Jumpstart Growth
(RNS) Southern Baptists adopted a plan to try to boost minorities in their top leadership posts as they face continuing reports of declining membership.
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Religious Freedom Envoy Condemns Religious Intolerance
GENEVA (RNS) The U.S. envoy told a U.N. commission that government, political, religious and business leaders must stand ready to condemn hateful ideology.
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Catholic University Ends Mixed-Gender Housing
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic University of America will phase out co-ed dormitories later this year, President John H. Garvey said.
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Israel Sees Slow but Growing Acceptance for Gay Orthodox
TEL AVIV, Israel (RNS) This year’s annual gay pride festival included a parade float representing the country’s religious gay and lesbian communities.
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Vatican to Brief Bishops, Religious Orders on Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican will use online education and other methods to help bishops and the heads of religious orders deal with clerical sex abuse.
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Temple Weddings Leave Some on Outside
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) You see them on Temple Square nearly every day, pacing nervously or strolling aimlessly, staring down at the tulips or up at the spires.
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Evangelicals Wade into Circumcision Debate
(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals is siding with Jews and Muslims in opposition of a proposed ban on infant male circumcision in San Francisco.
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Anglican Leader Slams British Austerity Budget
LONDON (RNS) The Archbishop has touched off a fury by accusing the British government of causing widespread “anxiety and anger” with its new austerity budget.
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Vatican Issues New Bishops’ Policy
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics forced to participate in ordinations of bishops without the pope’s approval may be exempt from automatic excommunication.
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Americans See Room to Disagree but Remain Faithful to Religion
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans say it is possible to disagree with their religion’s teachings and still remain in good standing with their faith.
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Principal at Paddling School Vows to Remain in Job
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The embattled president of the nation’s last Catholic school to employ corporal punishment said he plans to remain on the job.
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First Amendment’s Free Exercise at Heart of Abuse Cases
(RNS) Jeremiah Scott was 11 when the abuse and molestation began in 1990 at the hands of an elder in his Mormon church in Portland, Ore.
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Feds Rule Against a Second Catholic College
(RNS) A federal regulator has rejected the First Amendment arguments of a Catholic college and cleared the way for the school’s adjunct faculty to unionize.
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Ore. Couple Convicted in Faith-healing Trial
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Jurors found two members of a faith-healing church guilty of felony criminal mistreatment for not seeking medical care for their daughter.
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Muslim Cabbie Fights Ticket over Religious Cap
ST. LOUIS (RNS) Langrial was chatting with another cabbie when an enforcement agent stopped to tell him his hat did not conform to the driver dress code.
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Miss. Woman Named World’s Longest-serving Church Organist
MOSS POINT, Miss. (RNS) For the past 69 years, Ida Mae Cumbest has been the pianist and organist at Caswell Springs United Methodist Church.
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Ore. Faith-healing Trial Draws to a Close
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents accused of denying medical care to their infant daughter are the victims of religious persecution, a defense attorney said.
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Egyptians Want Advice, Not Rule, of Clerics
WASHINGTON (RNS) A new Gallup survey says a majority of Egyptians want religious leaders to advise the nation’s officials but they do not want a theocracy.
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Evangelicals: Bachmann Speaks Our Code
WASHINGTON (RNS) Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour warned several hundred Christian conservatives not to expect a “perfect candidate” to emerge.
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Irish Abuse Probe Finishes First Phase
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican investigation of clerical sex abuse in Ireland has finished its “first phase,” the Vatican announced.
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Poll: Two-thirds of Americans OK with Mormon Candidate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Roughly two out of three Americans say it makes no difference to them if a presidential candidate is Mormon.
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Monks’ Suit Over Caskets Heads to Trial
COVINGTON, La. (RNS) A federal lawsuit brought by a group of monks fighting for the right to sell handcrafted caskets without a state license is set to go to trial.
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Archbishop Says He Has Proof of Paddling’s Pain
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Archbishop Gregory Aymond says he has firsthand accounts from students who said they were injured by paddling at a Catholic high school.
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Clinton Defends Religious Freedom Envoy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
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Budget Battle Pits Atheist Ayn Rand vs. Bible
WASHINGTON (RNS) Ayn Rand published more than a dozen books. Now, liberal Christians say another work belongs in Rand’s canon: the 2012 Republican budget.
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Canadian Parents Sue over Religion in Daycare Centers
TORONTO (RNS) A group of parents is taking the province to court to challenge a government ban on religious teachings at subsidized daycare centers.
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Religious Leaders Call a Strike on Tobacco
(RNS) Religious leaders are hoping to hit a home run in a campaign to get Major League Baseball players to ban tobacco use on fields and dugouts.
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Lawyers: Faith-healing Parents Sought Care for Daughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents pleaded with child-welfare workers for permission to take their infant daughter to a doctor, defense attorneys said.
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Update: Italy Unfreezes $33 million in Vatican Funds
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Prosecutors in Rome released $33 million in Vatican funds that had been frozen last September.
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King's Daughter Leaves Ga. Church After Scandal

(RNS) The Rev. Bernice King announced that she is leaving an Atlanta-area megachurch whose leader has been embroiled in scandal.

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God at the Root of Malick’s 'Tree of Life'
LOS ANGELES (RNS) Terrence Malick’s new film, “Tree of Life,” is nearly indescribable.
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Messiah Alumni Rally Around Gay Student
GRANTHAM, Pa. (RNS) Alumni at Messiah College have launched an online petition urging the conservative Christian school to change its policies.
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Crystal Cathedral Goes Up for Sale
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has announced plans to sell its iconic glass-walled church in Southern California to pay back creditors and overcome bankruptcy.
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Bishop Long Settles Sex Suit Out of Court
(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, an Atlanta-area megachurch pastor, has settled suits out of court with four young men who accused him of sexual misconduct.
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Second Catholic Priest Sworn In as House Chaplain
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Rev. Patrick Conroy was sworn in as House chaplain, making him the first Jesuit to hold the position.
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Vatican Closes Monastery that Attracted Aristocrats, Dancing Nun
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has closed the monastery of a fourth-century Roman basilica on account of “liturgical and financial irregularities.”
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Adventists in Calif. City Lose Sunday Mail Delivery
LOMA LINDA, Calif. (RNS) Postal carrier Ruth Gomez had prayed and waited for five years to be transferred to the Loma Linda Post Office.
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Katrina Volunteers Still Coming, Even if They Have to Pay
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A Methodist hurricane-recovery ministry has reinvented itself—by asking volunteers to pitch in $225 to spend a week repairing houses.
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Same-sex Relations, Marriage Receive Record Approval
(RNS) Nearly two-thirds of Americans say gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should be legal, the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup.
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Christians Shatter Taboos in Talking about Money
BEVERLY, Mass. (RNS) No sooner had 29-year-old Graham Messier joined a small group at his church earlier this year than he found himself breaking an American taboo.
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Vatican to Weigh Condoms in Fighting AIDS
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The morality and effectiveness of using condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS will be on the agenda at a Vatican conference.
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Study Suggests Born-Again Believers Have Smaller Brains
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) For decades, mainline Protestants have been beset by bad news: declining numbers, aging membership, waning cultural influence.
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Evangelist Says Rapture Date Was Off by Five Months
(RNS) Radio evangelist Harold Camping, who predicted the Rapture would occur on May 21, now says his calculations were off by five months.
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Oops! Printing Errors in the Original KJV
(RNS) In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible.
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Chances Are Thou Keepest a KJV in Thy House
(RNS) If thou hast a Bible in the house and readeth it at least once a month, chances are strong it’s the majestic King James Version of the Bible.
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Lofty Language of KJV is More Common Than You Might Think
(RNS) Twelve phrases believed to have originated in the King James Bible, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year.
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Star Trek’s Spock Describes His Jewish Roots
ROCKVILLE, Md. (RNS) The V-shaped hand sign may have seemed to be from a planet far away, but he created it from childhood memories of his Jewish family.
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Bob Dylan’s Religious Mystique Endures
(RNS) Dylan was hailed as a prophet, first of folk music, then of rock ‘n’ roll—at least by those who forgave him for “going electric.”
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Exhibit Highlights Hindu Blue-Skinned Savior
NASHVILLE (RNS) In Hindu tradition, Lord Vishnu shows up in many forms.
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Muslims Wait for Signs of Change from Obama
(RNS) President Obama was talking to the Muslim world in his State Department speech, but U.S. Muslims were equally interested.
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First Lady Seeks Help for Military Families
WASHINGTON (RNS) First lady Michelle Obama has asked religious leaders to join her initiative to assist military families.
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It’s The End of the World as They Know It, and Atheists Feel Fine
(RNS) Harold Camping’s campaign to warn Christians that the rapture is coming has won him a band of followers.
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Four Traps That Await Clergy When They Move
Four Traps That Await Clergy When They Move
When ministers move to new congregations, they have to be careful to avoid some common traps that can ensnare their ministry. Healthy churches and ministers need to pay attention to these four trouble spots.
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Bishops at Center of Abuse Scandal, and Potential Reform
WASHINGTON (RNS) A sweeping new report on the clergy sex abuse scandal compares the Roman Catholic Church to police departments.
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Amnesty International Chides Vatican for Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Amnesty International has criticized the Vatican for falling short of its commitments to protect children from sex abuse.
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Israel Removes Land Mines from Site of Jesus’ Baptism
West Bank (RNS/ENInews) Pilgrims are flowing back to the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism on the Jordan River.
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The Example of Youth
I believe that most people have a dream, a vision, or an image of something that is big in their hearts.
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RNS Exclusive: Report Spreads Blame for Catholic Sex Abuse
NEW YORK (RNS) A comprehensive report on the scandal is set for release hoping to provide answers about a crisis that has raised numerous questions.
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Mormons, Baptists Assist in Tornado Clean-up
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Mormon missionaries are often unwelcome guests when they knock at local front doors wearing white dress shirts and holding a Book of Mormon.
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Churches Asked to Share Pulpits with Muslims
(RNS) Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries.
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Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
More than two-thirds of evangelical pastors doubt global warming is real and manmade while Catholic leaders issued a call to action to address the problem. Why are evangelical leaders in denial?
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Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureates Tussle (Gently) Over Violence
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Dalai Lama says peace in the world begins with peace in oneself. Some of his fellow Nobel laureates, however, aren’t convinced.
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Billy Graham Returns Home from Hospital
(RNS) Evangelist Billy Graham returned home after a five-day hospital stay for pneumonia.
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Vatican Gives Bishops One Year to Set Abuse Policies
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The world’s Catholic bishops have one year to set national policies on clerical sex abuse of minors.
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Holocaust Conviction Began in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (RNS) The case that led to John Demjanjuk’s conviction in Germany was laid out 10 years ago in a Cleveland courtroom, where lawyers sparred over his wartime past.
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Dalai Lama Brings Peace Message to New Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Dalai Lama has a message for Newark: Peace does not come easily, but the strategy for attaining it is simple.
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Vatican Says Latin Mass Shouldn’t Divide Catholics
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican broadened access to the old Latin Mass with a new rule that gives the Vatican the power to overrule bishops.
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Two Kinds of Leaders: Shepherds and Thieves
Two Kinds of Leaders: Shepherds and Thieves
Jesus made it clear that he's the gate that protects the sheep. Those who lead his sheep fall in one of two categories – shepherds or thieves. Which leaders are today's sheep following?
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Graham’s Doctor Says Condition Has Stabilizedad
(RNS) Billy Graham’s doctor confirmed that the 92-year-old evangelist has pneumonia, but said he is doing well.
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Bill Would Strengthen Role of Religious Freedom Envoy
WASHINGTON (RNS) New legislation would push the State Department to make international religious freedom a greater priority.
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Russian, Greek Orthodox Leery of ID Cards
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) Russian and Greek Orthodox leaders are objecting to plans in both countries to introduce electronic identity cards.
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Even After Win, Gay Clergy likely to Remain Limited
(RNS) Advocates celebrated a victory when the Presbyterian Church (USA) entered the ranks of denominations that allow openly gay, partnered clergy.
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Abuse Victims Oppose Pick for House Chaplain
WASHINGTON (RNS) The nation’s leading advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is opposing an Oregon Jesuit’s bid to serve as House chaplain.
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Two-thirds of Americans Say Bin Laden’s in Hell
(RNS) While Americans have debated whether Osama bin Laden’s body belongs at the bottom of the Arabian Sea, most agree on the final destination of his soul: in hell.
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Muslims Battle to Be Official Voice of U.S. Islam
(RNS) As president of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Zuhdi Jasser is no fan of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
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Finding God in Unexpected and Marvel-ous Places
(RNS) “Thor,” is the kind of cinematic legend where the only word that truly seems to fit is “epic.”
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Chaplains Say Navy Wedding Policy Confuses a Fraught Debate
WASHINGTON (RNS) A recent Navy memo that would permit military chaplains to officiate at same-sex marriage ceremonies is creating tension.
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After Seminary, Lost Boy Headed Back to Sudan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Armed with a master’s degree in educational ministry, the former “Lost Boy” is ready to find his way back to Sudan.
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Jesuit to Become Chaplain of the House
(RNS) A Jesuit will be sworn in as the 60th chaplain of the House of Representatives on May 25.
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Jewish Newspaper Erases Clinton from Photo
(RNS) An ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Brooklyn deleted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from a White House photograph.
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Charges Dropped Against Anti-Obama Protesters
(RNS) An Indiana prosecutor dropped trespassing charges against anti-abortion activists who protested President Obama’s 2009 commencement address.
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Study: 2 in 10 Atheist Scientists Are Spiritual
(RNS) More than 20 percent of atheist scientists consider themselves to be “spiritual,” according to a Rice University study.
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Scholars Chase Bible’s Changes, One Verse at a Time
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Bible scholars are buried in a 20-year project to codify the thousands of changes that crept into the early New Testament.
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Reformed Denominations Join to Plant Churches
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) The Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church are joining together to launch a church planting project.
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Ala. Governor Calls Jews Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Robert Bentley twice referred to Jews as his “brothers and sisters” during a Holocaust remembrance event.
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Wheaton Alumni Rally Around Gay Students
(RNS) Gay and supportive alumni of Wheaton College have formed a new organization following a recent chapel series at the flagship evangelical school.
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Supreme Court to Weigh `Israel’ on U.S. Passports
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether American passports issued to children born in Jerusalem should include the word “Israel.”
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After Court Gives OK, Christians Mark National Day of Prayer
WASHINGTON (RNS) Supporters marked the 60th annual National Day of Prayer, just weeks after a federal appeals court dismissed a suit that challenged the law.
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BBC Says Muslims Selling Tainted Holy Water from Mecca
LONDON (RNS) A BBC investigation is claiming that holy drinking water from Mecca is contaminated with arsenic.
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Economic Bell Tolls for Nation’s Church Steeples
(RNS) Atop the tiny, white-columned 1842 church where Glen Likens was baptized, the steeple is rotting.
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Vatican Praises Bloggers as Church’s Public Opinion
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pope may not be ready to start a blog or a Twitter account, but the Vatican is taking note of the unruly world of the blogosphere.
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Justices Sidestep Catholics’ Case Against San Francisco
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court declined to hear a Catholic group’s appeal accusing San Francisco supervisors of violating the Constitution.
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Study Links Reliance on God with Reliance on Treatment
(RNS) Cancer patients who consider the length of their lives to be “in God’s hands” are more willing than others to spend money on treatments.
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Unitarians Drop Jefferson’s Name from Southeast Group
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) To many Americans, Thomas Jefferson is a symbol of liberty and religious freedom and a standard bearer for progressive politics.
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Feminist Pioneer Challenges Orthodox Patriarchy
JERUSALEM (RNS) With her down-to-earth femininity, she doesn’t exactly look like a rabble-rouser within Orthodox Judaism.
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John Paul Put One Step Below Sainthood
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The late Pope John Paul II was beatified before a crowd of more than a million pilgrims.
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Jews, Evangelicals Search for Ways to Discuss Israel
WASHINGTON (RNS) American Jews and evangelicals need a formal mechanism to discuss their differences and similarities on support for Israel.
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John Paul’s Casket Unearthed for Beatification
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The casket of the late Pope John Paul II was exhumed in preparation for the late pontiff’s beatification ceremony.
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The President’s (Born-again) Birth Certificate
(RNS) So, according to the long-form birth certificate released by the White House Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Evangelical Icon David Wilkerson Dies in Car Crash
(RNS) Evangelist David Wilkerson, who wrote the popular book “The Cross and the Switchblade”, died in a traffic accident Wednesday (April 27).
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Panel Cites Egypt for Religious Freedom Violations
WASHINGTON (RNS) A religious freedom watchdog panel has added Egypt to its list of the worst violators of religious liberty.
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Need To Be a Better Listener? Try These Six Steps
Need To Be a Better Listener? Try These Six Steps
Nothing's more frustrating for people than to be invited to a "listening session" and walk away feeling they weren't heard. Listening requires patience. Here are six steps to help you.
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Churches Form Circle of Protection Around Poor
(RNS) Christian leaders have formed a “Circle of Protection” against U.S. cuts to poverty-fighting programs.
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Gingrich Talks of Journey to Catholicism
WASHINGTON (RNS) Gingrich traced his spiritual journey from Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic at a Catholic prayer breakfast.
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Plans for Interfaith Seminary Shelved
(RNS) When leaders began to dream of building a new partnership, they planned to create a futuristic model of religious higher education.
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Former N.J. Governor Denied Episcopal Ordination
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey will not be ordained into the Episcopal Church priesthood in the near future.
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John Paul’s Blood to Be Split Between Italy, Poland
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A small quantity of blood from the late Pope John Paul II will be exposed as a holy relic during his beatification.
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Miracles Claimed from Late Pope’s Intercession
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Jesse was just 10 days old in November 2009 when he was diagnosed with Herpes simplex, a virus often lethal to a newborn child.
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Bill Would Limit Military Funeral Protests
WASHINGTON (RNS) A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill that would make it harder to protest outside military funerals.
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Transit Worker Fired for Burning Quran Gets Job Back
TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) The New Jersey Transit employee fired for burning pages of the Quran near Ground Zero will get his job back.
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Church-state Ties on Full Display at Royal Wedding
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) At the royal wedding Britain’s unique and historic ties between church and state will be on full display.
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Pope Says Comatose Can Still Feel Presence of Family
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI told a mother that her comatose son can feel her “presence” and “love.”
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Simple Churches Find a Foothold Across U.S.
(RNS) This weekend, Jeanne O’Hair, her friends and family will raise their voices in Easter hymns “as the spirit leads us.”
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Just How Long Did Jesus Stay in the Tomb?
(RNS) As Christians worldwide celebrate Easter, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus rose from the dead on “the third day.”
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Supreme Court Limits Prisoners’ Right to Sue
WASHINGTON (RNS) Prison inmates who are deprived of their religious rights cannot sue states for monetary damages.
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Mormon Men Delaying the Walk Down the Aisle
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) John Evans is in no hurry to get married.
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Study: Congregations Slowly Recovering from Recession
(RNS) The recession was a double-barrel blow to American congregations: directly hurting their budgets while also stretching them thin.
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Scholar Challenges Thursday Date of Last Supper
LONDON (RNS) A scientist claims his research shows Christians have been observing Jesus’ Last Supper on the wrong day of the week.
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Poll: Americans See Clash Between Values of Christianity, Capitalism
(RNS) Are Christianity and capitalism a marriage made in heaven, as some conservatives believe?
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Cookbook Preserves Family Recipes Lost in Holocaust
(RNS) The last time Regina Finer’s mother cooked the soft, dense potato dumplings called kluskies, Regina couldn’t have been more than 12.
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Obama Invokes Christian Beliefs at Easter Prayer Breakfast
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama said Jesus’ death and resurrection on Easter “puts everything else in perspective,” at a White House event.
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State Department Fires Back at Ambassador
WASHINGTON (RNS) The State Department fired back at a prominent Catholic ambassador who said the agency has a “rigidly narrow” view of foreign policy.
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Bishops Defend Criticism of Top Theologian
WASHINGTON (RNS) Under fire for criticizing a popular theologian, the U.S. Catholic bishops said they must occasionally assume the role of referee.
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Burned Church Nears Completion as Suspect Found Guilty
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) As a white man surrendered to federal marshals, workers were rebuilding the pulpit of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
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Senate Confirms Religious Freedom Ambassador
WASHINGTON (RNS) A New York minister will soon fill the Obama administration’s long-vacant position to oversee international religious freedom.
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Kmiec’s Gospel Falls Flat in Foggy Bottom
(RNS) The State Department has a “rigidly narrow” view of diplomacy that neglects religion’s role in foreign affairs, a prominent Catholic ambassador charged.
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Belgian Bishop Says Nephews’ Abuse Was a Game
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Belgium’s Catholic bishops declared themselves “extremely shocked” by comments from a former bishop.
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Russian Jehovah’s Witness Cleared on Extremism Charges
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) A Jehovah’s Witness on trial in Siberia was found innocent of charges of inciting religious hatred and enmity.
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White Man Found Guilty in Arson at Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) Breaking a two-day deadlock, a federal jury convicted a white man, Michael F. Jacques, on all three charges.
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Court Dismisses Challenge to National Day of Prayer
WASHINGTON (RNS) The law calling for an annual National Day of Prayer imposes solely on the duties of the U.S. president.
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Evangelicals Named to Ministry Watchdog Panel
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has announced members of a commission to advise Capitol Hill.
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Pope Appeals to China over Naming of Bishops
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican lamented China’s interference with the Roman Catholic Church.
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Filipino Churches Divided Over Hero's Burial for Marcos
MANILA, Philippines (RNS/ENInews) Filipino church leaders are divided over a proposal to give the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial.
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Activists Want National Holiday for Good Friday
WASHINGTON (RNS) A small band of Christians is planning a rally in Washington, D.C., in a bid to make Good Friday a national holiday.
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Just How Long Did Jesus Stay in the Tomb?
(RNS) Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on “the third day,” in the words of the ancient Nicene Creed. Or was he?
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Judge Says Monks Can Fight for Right to Sell Caskets
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Monks at St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, La., can sue for the right to sell handcrafted caskets without a license.
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Archaeologist Claims Nails from Jesus’ Cross
JERUSALEM (RNS) An Israeli-Canadian journalist believes he may have tracked down two of the iron nails used to crucify Jesus.
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Anglicans Tighten Rules to Prevent Sham Marriages
LONDON (RNS) Couples suspected of using their wedding vows as a ruse to skirt immigration laws will be required to meet strict identity checks.
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Scholar Challenges Widely-held Beliefs About the Bible and Sex
(RNS) Is the Bible good for your sex life, but bad for a sex ed class?
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Catholic Bishops Report Seven Abuse Cases During 2010
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops announced that sexual abuse accusations against Catholic clergy increased in 2010.
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French Ban on Full-face Veils Takes Effect
PARIS (RNS) Police arrested several and protests continued to spread as France’s controversial ban against the full-face veil came into force.
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Report: Ambassador Spends too Much Time on Religion
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Malta has spent “considerable time” writing on topics beyond the mission of his office.
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Vatican Paper Praises Fertility Ethics of Films
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The official Vatican newspaper has praised two recent Hollywood movies for showing the ethical downsides of sperm donation.
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Jewish Group Gives Passover Cheer for Beck’s Exit
(RNS) A Jewish organization is celebrating Passover two weeks early, proclaiming freedom from Glenn Beck’s television show.
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Obama, Karzai Blast Florida Quran Burning
WASHINGTON (RNS) Presidents Obama and Karzai blasted the recent burning of a Quran at a Florida church and the deadly riots that followed.
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Skeletons in the Catholic Church’s Closet
(RNS) Showtime has found the magic combination for ultimate crowd appeal in a scintillating soap opera about a bad-boy pope.
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Evangelicals Most Likely to Support Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON (RNS) A slim majority of evangelicals favor government shutdown over a budget compromise.
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Embattled Religious Freedom Envoy the New Iron Lady
WASHINGTON (RNS) The embattled nominee is comparing herself to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
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Court Rules for Pharmacists on Morning-After Pill
(RNS) Pharmacists with religious objections to “morning-after” emergency contraceptives cannot be compelled to sell the product.
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British Astrophysicist Wins Templeton Prize
(RNS) A British theoretical astrophysicist has won the $1.6 million 2011 Templeton Prize.
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Four Ways for Ministers to Become Entrepreneurs
Four Ways for Ministers to Become Entrepreneurs
Ministers wear many hats in church, and one they need to add to their collection is entrepreneur. Here are four ways to add a healthy injection of the entrepreneurial spirit into the life of a congregation.
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Top U.K. Druid Charged with Money Fraud
LONDON (RNS) One of the prominent figures in the revived ancient priesthood of Druidism in Britain has been charged with fraud.
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Millionaire Buys Paintings so Church Can Keep Them
CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENInews) A self-effacing multimillionaire has become a local hero after buying a series of 17th-century religious paintings.
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For Every Action, an Equal and Opposite Reaction
(RNS) The website of the Dove World Outreach Center describes the tiny church as “a New Testament church based on the Bible, the Word of God.”
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Supreme Court Takes Dim View of Church-state Challenges
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to an Arizona school tuition credit program.
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Man Denies Author’s Claim that He killed Malcolm X
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For 46 years, the chief assassin of slain civil rights icon Malcolm X has been hiding in plain sight in Newark.
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Young Mormons Advised not to Delay Marriage
(RNS) Single Mormon men who are postponing marriage should get to it right away, church President Thomas S. Monson said.
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Deadly Afghan Riots Blamed on Quran Burning at Fla. Church
(RNS) The Florida pastor who presided over the recent burning of a Quran said the United Nations must protect Afghans from deadly riots.
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Faith-healing Ore. Couple Released from Prison
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of a controversial Oregon City church that rejects medical treatment were released from prison.
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Ala. Church Bans Employees’ Social Networking with Minors
MOBILE, Alabama (RNS) Electronic communication with minors must be limited to “providing information related to a ministry or event."
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Excommunicated Priest Now Faces Explusion
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Rev. Roy Bourgeois now faces expulsion from his religious order and from the priesthood over his support for the ordination of women.
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Catholic Bishops Censure Feminist Theologian’s Book
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a book by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a prominent feminist theologian.
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Showtime Soap Opera Features History’s Bad-boy Borgia Pope
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Modern popes have had their fans and detractors, but few would dispute their reputations for personal virtue.
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Jews Pressure Facebook over Palestinian Page
(RNS) Facebook shut down a “Third Palestinian Intifada” page and similar groups this week, prompted by complaints from Jewish groups.
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Report: Small Churches Feeling Financial Squeeze
(RNS) Almost all U.S. churches witnessed a change in the financial giving they received in 2010 compared to 2009.
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For Mormons, What Does Follow the Prophet Really Mean?
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon leaders will offer sermons at an upcoming conference that many Mormons will treat like faxes from God.
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Religious Freedom Envoy Tries for a Second Time
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration’s nominee to oversee international religious freedom returned to Capitol Hill.
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In Senate Muslim Hearings, a Decided Change in Tone
WASHINGTON (RNS) It was billed as the first-ever congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims. But it played more like an Act II than a premiere.
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Coalition Works to Protect Religious Employees
WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of religious and civil liberty groups is pushing the EEOC to stop employers from segregating visibly religious employees.
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Supporters March to Keep Paddling at Catholic School
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Supporters of St. Augustine High School marched to oppose the call for an end to the school’s policy of using corporal punishment.
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Pope Calls for Libyan Cease-fire
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is calling for an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations in Libya.
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Bishops Push Back on Allowing Gay Couples in Housing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Bishops are urging officials not to adopt proposed rules that would bar groups that receive federal funds from discriminating.
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UN Passes Religious Freedom Resolution
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. officials praised a United Nations council for a new statement on religious freedom that sidestepped a divisive debate.
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Vatican Opens Dialogue with Atheists
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event.
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Tennessee Amends Anti-Shariah Bill
(RNS) Tennessee lawmakers are rewriting a bill that described Islamic law as a threat to U.S. security and seemed to equate peaceful Muslim practices with terrorism.
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Facebook Revelations Lead to Polygamy Charges
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) A Grand Rapids man who took a bride while still married to his estranged first wife says he “made a mistake.”
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Vatican Mourns Taylor as Last Diva of Cinema
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s official newspaper eulogized actress Elizabeth Taylor as the “last remaining star in the firmament of old Hollywood.”
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Poll: Most Americans Don’t blame God for Natural Disasters
(RNS) We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment.
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U.S. Embassy Condemns Quran Burning at Fla. Church
(RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan called the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church “abhorrent.”
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Vatican Says Gay Opponents Are Victims, Too
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican official told a United Nations body that people who openly object to homosexual behavior are at risk of losing their human rights.
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U.S. Catholics Lead Other Christians on Gay Rights
(RNS) American Catholics are more supportive of gay rights than other U.S. Christians, according to new research.
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Trial Opens in Mass. Black Church Arson Case
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted in court.
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Evangelicals Resist Obama’s Childhood Obesity Push
WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelicals are the only major religious group where a majority opposes the federal government’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
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N.Y. Rabbi Tapped to Lead Reform Jews
(RNS) A New York rabbi with a reputation for innovation has been tapped to lead the Union for Reform Judaism.
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Fla. Pastor Presides at Burning of Quran
(RNS) The controversial Florida pastor oversaw the burning of the Islamic holy book on Sunday.
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Pope Neither Condemns, Endorses Libya Attacks
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI voiced “fear and trepidation” about the “disturbing news coming from Libya” in a carefully worded statement.
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Methodists Shun the Bottle That No One Wants to Talk About
(RNS) The Rev. James Howell knew he had a problem on his hands when several teenagers arrived at a church dance drunk.
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When Experience Becomes Monumentally Unhelpful
When Experience Becomes Monumentally Unhelpful
More often than not, relying on someone with experience is good for an organization. However, experience can hold an organization back and cripple our best hopes and dreams.
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Missionaries Grapple with Leaving Japan
(RNS) Wolfgang Langhans calls the week since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan “the busiest and most stressful week of my life.”
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Obama Taps Campuses for Interfaith Service Projects
WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House is hoping to recruit America’s college and seminary students in a nationwide interfaith service campaign.
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Dominican Program Explores, Expands Lay Spirituality
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) As a student at Aquinas College in the 1980s, David Lincoln was on track to become a Roman Catholic priest.
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Priest Forced to Give up 40 Days of Muslim Lent
FERGUSON, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have just given up chocolate or television for Lent.
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Schuller Says He Wouldn’t Have OK’d Church’s Gay Covenant
(RNS) Schuller said he never would have approved a recent covenant choir members were asked to sign urging them to be Christian and heterosexual.
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Court Rejects Mother’s Religious Home-school Arguments
(RNS) The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that orders a girl to enroll in public school instead of being home-schooled.
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Justice Department Backs Sikh Inmate
(RNS) The DoJ has filed suit against California prison officials on behalf of a Sikh inmate who says his religious freedom was violated.
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Anglican Priest Arrested on Marriage Charges
LONDON (RNS) A Church of England vicar has been arrested in Britain’s second major police investigation in as many years.
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Adventists Grow as Other Churches Decline
(RNS) Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment.
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Need New Ideas in Church? Ask Novices, Skeptics
Need New Ideas in Church? Ask Novices, Skeptics
Too often we are limited by our own experiences and preconceived ideas. We need people who can think "outside the box" and encourage us to do the same. But where do we find these people?
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Nearly 1,000 Anglicans Converting to Catholicism
LONDON (RNS/ENInews) More than 900 Anglicans formally expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism at special services held at Westminster Cathedral.
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Alaska Airlines Apologizes for Jewish Prayer Mix-up
SEATTLE (RNS) Alaska Airlines has issued an apology for misinterpreting the devotional behavior of three Orthodox Jews.
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Museum Restores Jefferson’s Unique Bible
(RNS) A Smithsonian museum is restoring the “Jefferson Bible,” a unique volume the third president cut and pasted himself.
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Religious Groups Mobilize to Aid Japan
(RNS) Religious relief organizations are sending and supporting teams to assess the damage.
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Churches in Japan Devastated by Earthquake
TOKYO (RNS/ENInews) Christians in Japan are looking for survivors and assessing damage to church buildings.
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Christians Question Conventional Wisdom on Divorce Stats
(RNS) It’s been proclaimed from pulpits and blogs for years—Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America.
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Former Head of Pentecostal Denomination Dies
(RNS) Bishop Chandler David Owens, a former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, died at the age of 79.
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Westboro Church Plans Protest of Funeral for Pa. Children
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to protest at a funeral for seven Pennsylvania children who died in a fire.
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Fed Up with Hollywood, Churches Make Their Own Films
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (RNS) This year’s Oscars may have been passed out, but for some churches the major motion picture season is just getting started.
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Pope Links Violence in God’s Name to Antichrist
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is a “favorite instrument of the Antichrist.”
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Churches Press Obama to Reengage on Middle East
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders are calling on the Obama administration to renew diplomatic efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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Minister Seeks Models of Manhood on the Big Screen
CALEDONIA, Mich. (RNS) Tonight’s feature is “Open Range,” a Western that pits those who believe in free access to water and grass against “barbed wire” land barons.
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Study Says Engagement Rises with Mosque Attendance
WASHINGTON (RNS) A political science professor says research shows that affiliation with a mosque increases Muslims’ civic engagement.
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Catholics Try to Lure Lapsed Sheep Back into the Fold
MADISON, N.J. (RNS) A small bucket filled with bottles of cold beer sat on the floor as about a dozen young adults lounged around on comfortable couches.
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Book Explores Lasting Impact of Vatican II on U.S. Church
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Colleen McDannell knew the title of her new book, “The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America,” would be provocative.
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Former Counterterrorism Chief Says Muslims Cooperate
(RNS) A former FBI counter terrorism director rejected allegations that Muslim Americans don’t cooperate with law enforcement in terror investigations.
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For Second Time, Vatican Keeps Parishes Open
(RNS) The Vatican has overruled a U.S. bishop’s decision to close churches in his diocese, a rare reversal that Catholic activists hope heralds a new trend.
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Court Rejects Challenge to `In God We Trust’
WASHINGTON (RNS) Atheist Michael Newdow plans to continue his fight to get “In God We Trust” off U.S. currency.
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Christchurch Cathedral Search Reveals No Quake Victims
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) A complete search turned up no bodies buried in the rubble, despite widespread reports that people had been trapped inside.
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White House Praises Muslims Ahead of Hearing
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration is highlighting the role Muslim Americans play in combating radicalism in their communities.
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Muslims and Supporters Protest Congressional Hearings
NEW YORK (RNS) When Anam Chaudhry sang the national anthem she wore a Muslim headscarf, and around her shoulders, another garment: the American flag.
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Developing Leaders Who Will Change the World
Developing Leaders Who Will Change the World
How do you develop highly motivated church leaders? Send them to places where they can witness God at work in power. And that's what a British Baptist missionary agency has been doing for decades.
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House Republicans Plan to Defend DOMA
WASHINGTON (RNS) House Speaker John Boehner said that he and fellow lawmakers will defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
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Pakistani Churches Mourn Assassinated Christian Minister
BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Christian schools shut down for a three-day protest of the assassination of the country’s Minister for Religious Minorities.
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Bhutanese Protest Tobacco Charge Against Buddhist Monk
NEW DELHI (RNS) Protesters in Bhutan are denouncing the three-year prison sentence of a Buddhist monk.
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Evangelicals Push Back on Proposed Budget Cuts
(RNS) Balancing the federal budget at the expense of the poor would be un-Christian, evangelical leaders warned Congress.
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Israel Won’t Renew Permit for Jerusalem Bishop
JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Israel has declined to renew a residency permit for Anglican Bishop Suheil Dawani of Jerusalem.
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Adventist Wins Fight not to Join Union
TORONTO (RNS) A labor relations board in Canada has granted an Adventist worker the right to not join a union because of her religious beliefs.
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Man Who Says God Told Him to Kill Girlfriend Gets New Trial
(RNS) A New Jersey man who claimed God made him kill his pregnant girlfriend will get a new trial.
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After Phelps Wins, Uncertainty About What Lies Ahead
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” protesters from Westboro Baptist Church have First Amendment rights.
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Pope Says Jews not to Blame for Jesus’ Death
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jewish people were not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his death.
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Christians Banned from Foster Care over Gay Views
LONDON (RNS) Two senior judges have banned a Christian couple from any further foster care because they oppose homosexuality.
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Israeli Ambassador Prompts Debate over Campus Free Speech
IRVINE, Calif. (RNS) “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!”
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Harvard Pastor, Theologian Peter Gomes Dies at 68
(RNS) The Rev. Peter Gomes, the longtime minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church, died at age 68.
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Court Rules for Jewish Man in Shavuot Dispute
(RNS) An Orthodox Jew has won a new trial after Maryland’s highest court ruled that a lower court erred.
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Wisconsin Dispute Exposes Catholic Split on Unions
(RNS) The fierce budget battle in Wisconsin has pitted the state’s top Roman Catholic bishops against each other.
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Publisher Backs Off Warning Label for Evangelical Books
(RNS) Southern Baptist bookstores have suspended a program that warned customers to read with “discernment” books by several authors.
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Islam Dominated Religion Coverage in 2010
(RNS) Islam was the most frequent topic of religion news coverage in 2010, as the media doubled the amount of time and space devoted to religion.
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Alumni Defend Paddling at Catholic School
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) One by one, alumni of St. Augustine High School took the microphone recalling paddling at St. Augustine.
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Shattered Churches Yield Their Dead in New Zealand
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) Churches shattered by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake were yielding up their dead.
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If Obama Won’t Fight Gay Marriage, Conservatives Will
WASHINGTON (RNS) If President Obama no longer wants to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, who will?
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U.S. Rabbis Blast Israel over New Conversion Rules
JERUSALEM (RNS) American rabbis have signed a letter demanding that the conversions they perform outside Israel be recognized.
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Catholic Bishops Back Wis. Union Protesters
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops threw their moral weight behind the pro-union protesters in Wisconsin.
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Muslims and ACLU Sue FBI over Mosque Surveillance
(RNS) Is sending a secret informant into a mosque in search of terrorists proactive policing, or a violation of worshippers’ civil rights?
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Obama Drops Defense of Anti-gay-marriage Law
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration announced it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
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Supreme Court Rejects 10 Commandments Case
WASHINGTON(RNS) The Supreme Court chose not to reexamine its decision to strike down displays of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses.
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Budget Cuts Target the Poor, Faith Groups Say
(RNS) Get ready for more undernourished infants, dangerously cold homes and disease-stricken communities in developing countries.
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Suit Accuses Televangelist of Breaking Moral Clause
(RNS) Christian publisher Strang Communications has sued evangelist Benny Hinn, claiming he violated a moral clause.
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Number of Catholics Worldwide Edged Up, Vatican Says
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The number of Catholics in the world edged up to 1.18 billion in 2009.
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Stuff We Don’t Want, Stuff They Can’t Use
(RNS) On a recent family trip to Africa, spotting American T-shirts and baseball caps became something of a parlor game.
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At 89, Civil Rights Icon Reflects on Faith, Activism
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
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National Debt is New Hot Issue for Evangelicals
WASHINGTON (RNS) Many economists warn that the government’s huge national debt is a looming threat to long-term prosperity.
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Jesuits Sued over Sex Abuse Bankruptcy
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Lawyers representing a group of people who accuse Jesuit priests of sexual abuse filed 37 lawsuits.
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In Italian Sex Scandal, Vatican Caught in a Bind
VATICAN CITY (RNS) No major leader has been a more stalwart ally than Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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Marriage seminar sparks Chick-fil-A boycott
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Amy Goropoulos’ stomach and her ethics do not agree on Chick-fil-A.
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Quebec Mayor Vows to Fight Order to Remove Crucifix
TORONTO (RNS) The mayor says he will appeal a decision by a human rights tribunal that bans prayer at city council.
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Grassroots Group Pressure King on Muslim Hearings
WASHINGTON (RNS) Peter King is facing grassroots pressure to cancel his planned hearings on the “radicalization” of U.S. Muslims.
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Egypt’s Christians Keep Wary Eye on Muslim Brotherhood
CAIRO (RNS) In Magdi Shnouda’s cafe the men playing backgammon are a mixture of Christians and Muslims.
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Bill Would Codify Mother and Father on Documents
WASHINGTON (RNS) A proposed House bill will require the use of “mother” and “father” by all federal agencies and contractors when describing parents.
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Vatican Allows Three Mass. Churches to Stay Open
CHICOPEE, Mass. (RNS) Three closed Catholic churches in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., have been given at least a partial reprieve.
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India Woos Sri Lanka with Buddha’s Bones
NEW DELHI (RNS) India plans to lend rare fragments of the Buddha’s bones to Sri Lanka for the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment.
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Greek Church Sues for Right to Rebuild at Disputed Ground Zero site
(RNS) Greek Orthodox officials filed suit against the agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero.
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Report: U.S. Churches Continue Growth, Decline Trends
(RNS) While mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to experience decline, Pentecostal traditions are on the rise.
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When Marriages are Eternal, Single and Divorced Mormons Struggle
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) To many Americans, religious or not, chastity before marriage is a quaint tradition at best and emotionally damaging at worst.
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Top Church Official Indicted in Philly Abuse Probe
(RNS) Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are hailing the indictment of a senior Roman Catholic official.
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Child in Faith-healing Case Continues to Improve
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A 13-month-old child who faced blindness in one eye after her parents treated her with prayer continues to improve.
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Report: Churches, Charities not in Competition for Dollars
(RNS) Houses of worship often aren’t in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors.
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Towey Named President of Ave Maria University
(RNS) Tom Monaghan has stepped down from leading the conservative Catholic university he founded.
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At 102, George Beverly Shea to Receive Lifetime Grammy Award
(RNS) George Beverly Shea will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.
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New Pipe in Israel Aims to Halt Worship Water Shortage
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli officials have installed an $11 million pipe to ease a weekly water shortage on Fridays.
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Quebec Bans Sikh Daggers from Capitol
TORONTO (RNS) Lawmakers voted unanimously to ban the kirpan, a Sikh ceremonial dagger, from the legislature building.
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Catholics Spar with Federal Officials over Unions, Catholic Identity
(RNS) A small Catholic college last month got the news that part-time faculty have a right to form a union.
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Muslim TV Executive Found Guilty in Wife’s Beheading
(RNS) A former banking executive who helped launch the nation’s first Muslim television station faces 15 years to life in prison.
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Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won’t Forgive Sins
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just in case Catholics are wondering if a new iPhone app might be able to forgive their sins, the Vatican has issued a clarification: No.
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Presbyterian Court Clears Minister in Gay Marriage Case
(RNS) The court has found a Boston minister not guilty of violating church rules against performing gay marriages.
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How Churches Can Plan for Their Next Minister
How Churches Can Plan for Their Next Minister
Churches rarely do a good job in planning for their next pastor. When long-time pastors leave, they are usually followed by a person who is competent but doesn't last long.
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Consumer Protection Chief Seeks Allies in Faith Leaders
WASHINGTON (RNS) The architect of the new consumer protection bureau met with faith-based groups.
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Something to Believe In
(RNS) Sir Anthony Hopkins could turn even “Green Eggs and Ham” into a creeptastic nightmare.
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Canadian Bishops Urge Catholics to Live Chastely
TORONTO (RNS/ENInews) Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging church members—married and single—to live chastely.
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Colorado Years Shaped Islamic Militant’s View of U.S.
(RNS) Is the jazz standard “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a heart-warming ode to winter romance or the worst example of American hedonism?
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Controversial N.Y. Mosque Loses Another Leader
(RNS) The proposed mosque project is again looking for a top imam after Sheik Abdallah Adhami resigned.
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U.K. Catholics Caution Followers on Dangers of Witchcraft
LONDON (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church has published a guide aimed at helping teenagers deal with 21st century witchcraft.
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Pope Can’t Be Organ Donor, Church Says
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Pope was once a card-carrying organ donor, but the offer expired when he assumed the papal throne.
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Mass. Man Denies Role in Church Arson
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A defendant took the witness stand and told a federal judge he had no role in the 2008 blaze.
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Vatican to Draft Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Controversies over bioethical standards show the need for greater Catholic education.
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Karmapa Lama Denies Charges of Spying for China
NEW DELHI (RNS) Indian officials want to know why top Buddhist leaders had $1.5 million in cash stashed away.
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Judge Rebuffed on Ten Commandments
(RNS) An judge who argued that it was his right to hang a poster about the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was overruled.
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U.N. Marks First Annual Interfaith Harmony Week
(RNS) The United Nations kicked off the first “World Interfaith Harmony Week” to promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions.
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U.N. Marks First Annual Interfaith Harmony Week
(RNS) The UN kicked off the first “World Interfaith Harmony Week” to promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions.
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Archdiocese Posts Trove of Slave Records Online
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Archdiocese of New Orleans unveiled a new online database containing records in colonial New Orleans.
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Congressman Says He’s not Anti-Islam
WASHINGTON (RNS) A congressman said he is not anti-Muslim after saying Muslims represent the “antithesis” of American values.
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U.S. Marine for Christ Prompts Suit at Colo. Academy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Professors have filed suit to stop a school prayer luncheon headlined by a speaker who calls himself a “U.S. Marine for Christ.”
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Critics Raise Concerns About House Hearings on Muslims
WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition is urging House leaders to raise concerns about planned hearings this month on the “radicalization” of American Muslims.
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Critics Wary of New Smithsonian Review Policy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Critics are unsatisfied with new policies intended to prevent future controversies.
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Catholic Hospitals, Bishops Reach Accord
(RNS) The Catholic Health Association publicly acknowledged that bishops have the final say on questions of medical morality.
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Anglican Archbishops End Summit on Quiet Note
(RNS) Anglican archbishops concluded their six-day summit in Ireland by issuing statements on a host of international issues.
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Judge Kills Most of Lutheran Retirees’ Claims
(RNS) A federal judge has ruled that Augsburg Fortress’ now-dissolved pension plan was exempt from federal regulations.
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After Controversy, Christian University Changes Gay Policy
(RNS) Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., has amended its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation.
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Vatican to Launch Dialogue with Atheists
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced a new initiative aimed at promoting dialogue between theists and atheists.
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Muslim leaders condemn Holocaust denial on remembrance day
(RNS) Prominent Muslim leaders marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by decrying attempts to deny the Holocaust.
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Mich. Bill Would Allow Guns in Churches, Colleges
LANSING, Mich. (RNS) Individuals with valid concealed weapons permits could carry guns in Michigan areas currently prohibited by law.
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Rabbis Petition Murdoch to Crack Down on Fox’s Holocaust Language
(RNS) Rabbis used Holocaust Remembrance Day to push Murdoch to “sanction” Fox News personalities on the use of Nazi and Holocaust references.
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Minister Offers Comfort, Calm in Disasters’ Shadowy Places
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. David Holyan recently found himself in Tucson, Ariz.
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Judge Upholds Law Preventing Guns in Churches
(RNS) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by gun rights advocates who claimed a Georgia law prohibiting weapons in a house of worship was unconstitutional.
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Many Genocides to be Commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day
CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENInews) After the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews during World War II, the world cried out “never again."
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Southern Baptist Leader Resigns Coalition Supporting Mosques
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
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Russian Patriarch Denounces Moscow Airport Bombing
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced a terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.
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Archdiocese Upset After St. Patrick Finds a Home in Restaurant
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) And now, let us raise a toast to St. Patrick.
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Anglican Prelates to Meet in Ireland
(RNS) Some archbishops are boycotting a high-level meeting in Ireland to protest the Episcopal Church’s acceptance of openly gay and lesbian bishops.
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Former UCC President Suspended After Affair
(RNS) The former president of the UCC has been suspended for one year and ordered to undergo a program of growth.
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Catholic Media Empire Acquires National Catholic Register
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) EWTN Global Catholic Network has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic Register newspaper.
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Court Says Religious Knowledge Test Improper in Asylum Case
(RNS) A Chinese Christian should be given another chance after a judge thought the man couldn’t answer “basic questions” about Christianity.
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Cash-strapped Cities Look to Tax Churches for Road Use
(RNS) When a community needs to rebuild crumbling roads, should houses of worship pay fees for the number of times their congregants drive on them?
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Ala. Governor Apologizes for Brothers and Sisters Comment
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Bentley apologized to anyone who was offended with his inaugural day comments that non-Christians were not his “brothers and sisters.”
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Muslim Seminary Ends Talks with Vatican over Pope’s Comments
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The most prestigious religious university in the Sunni Muslim world has suspended dialogue with the Vatican.
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Update: Fla. Pastor Formally Banned from U.K.
LONDON (RNS) A Florida pastor who sparked fury when he threatened to burn a pile of Qurans has been officially banned from Britain.
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Vatican Tries to Tamp Down Abuse Letter to Irish Bishops
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican tried to tamp down allegations a letter to Irish bishops was meant to discourage prelates from reporting sexual abuse.
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Catholic Bishops Won’t Support Repeal of Health Care Law
WASHINGTON(RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops will not join efforts to repeal the new health care law.
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Update: Innkeepers Found Guilty for Turning Away Gay Couple
LONDON (RNS) Two Christian innkeepers have been convicted of sexual discrimination for refusing to allow a gay couple to share a double room.
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Ala. Governor Says only Christians Are his Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
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Religious Leaders Praise new Obama Policy on Cuba
WASHINGTON (RNS) Faith leaders are hailing a change in White House policy that reduces limits on religious travel to Cuba.
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Three Anglican Bishops Ordained as Catholic Priests
LONDON (RNS) Three former Church of England bishops have been ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
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Poll: Americans of All Faiths See a Civility Problem in U.S. Politics
(RNS) Americans agree on one thing: our political system has a civility problem.
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A Rush Toward Sainthood for John Paul II?
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has recognized a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II the Vatican announced.
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Pakistani Churches Criticize Government’s Refusal to Amend Blasphemy Law
BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Pakistani churches say they’re frustrated by the government’s refusal to amend a controversial blasphemy law.
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Clergy Answer King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail
(RNS) A coalition of Christian churches answered the Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
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British Study Links Spread of faith to Believer Gene
LONDON (RNS) A British university study suggests that people of strong faith can spread religion through a “believers’ gene” that is part of their DNA.
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Pa. School District Takes Street Preacher to Court
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Should a street preacher be banned from approaching students at a bus stop?
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Pastor Who Prayed for Obama’s Death Turns to Westboro Baptist Church
(RNS) A Southern Baptist pastor who called for prayers for the death of Obama is now planning prayers against Westboro Baptist Church.
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Clergy Urge Congress to Unite Behind Push for Civility
(RNS) A coalition sent an open letter urging a “time of soul searching” and national dialogue about “violent and vitriolic political rhetoric.”
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Obama’s Eulogy Invokes Spirit of Black Church, Reinhold Niebuhr
WASHINGTON (RNS) Expecting a speech, Americans instead heard a sermon.
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Pope Appoints New Haiti Archbishop One Year After Quake
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI marked the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake by naming a new archbishop for the country’s capital city.
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VFW Sues Obama Administration over Disputed Cross Memorial
WASHINGTON (RNS) The VFW has sued the Obama administration over the ownership of land under a controversial California war memorial.
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Jews Troubled by Palin’s Use of Blood Libel
(RNS) Sarah Palin accused “journalists and pundits” of manufacturing a “blood libel” that seeks to link her and other conservatives to the massacre.
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Knowing When It's Time to Move On
Knowing When It's Time to Move On
While many leaders know when it's time to move on and let others take the reins, a few stay too long or leave too quickly. Two football players help illustrate both of these points.
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Egypt, Angry Over Pope’s Remarks, Recalls Ambassador
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Egypt recalled its ambassador to protest a demand by Pope Benedict XVI that it better protect the country’s embattled Christian minority.
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Civility Project Disbands after Low Interest in Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Civility Project is closing down after just three members of Congress agreed to the project’s pledge.
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Lawmaker Asks Clergy to Foster Tolerance in Wake of Shootings
PATERSON, N.J. (RNS) A New Jersey congressman is calling upon clergy to help people put aside their ideological differences during a “week of solidarity.”
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State Department to Leave Mother and Father on Documents
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary Clinton has ordered changes to a proposal to remove the terms “mother” and “father” from records of overseas births.
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Jewish Musician Debbie Friedman Dies at 59
(RNS) Debbie Friedman, a composer and singer whose modern melodies updated the music in synagogue services worldwide, died of pneumonia at age 59.
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Pope Warns Diplomats on Threats to Religious Freedom
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI decried violence against Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
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Gallup: Jews Score Highest on Well-being Survey
RNS) American Jews scored the highest of any religious group on a “well-being” index according to a new Gallup survey.
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Court Rules Against Diocese
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A federal judge ruled that the Diocese must bow to the altar of historic preservation.
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A Year Later, Quake-ravaged Haiti Struggles to Recover
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (RNS) Driving through downtown Port-au-Prince, it can be difficult at first to see much change from a year ago.
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Religious Profile of 112th Congress Remains Stable
WASHINGTON (RNS) The midterm elections did little to alter the religious composition of Capitol Hill.
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Abuse Victim Claims No Money from $900,000 Settlement
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A man who secured a $900,000 settlement for alleged abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest has yet to see a penny more than seven years after the church paid out the money.
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Army Faces Questions over Spiritual Fitness Test
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Army is facing questions over a “spiritual fitness” portion of a mandatory questionnaire.
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Rubashkin Appeals Conviction, Sentence
(RNS) Convicted businessman Sholom Rubashkin has filed an appeal in hopes of a new trial, or at least a reduced sentence.
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Calif. War Memorial Cross Ruled Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal appeals court ruled a veterans’ memorial featuring a 43-foot cross on California’s Mount Soledad is unconstitutional.
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Pope Denies Appeal of Boston Parish Closings
(RNS) After a lengthy appeals process, the Vatican has ruled that nine Boston-area Catholic parishes should be closed.
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Poll: Americans See Religion’s Role Declining
(RNS) Seven in 10 Americans say religion’s influence on the country is waning.
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Worker’s Memory Plants Seeds for Trees Outside Katrina Homes
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The last time Matt Sloan saw Sylvia Blanchard’s house the Blanchards were back in and it was neat, clean and smelling new.
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Technology Unites Missionaries, Families Around the World
(RNS) Janine Winkler loves reading books to her 2-year-old grandson Judah, but he’s usually half a world away in Nigeria.
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Pope Condemns Vile Killing Outside Egyptian Church
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced the “vile and murderous” New Year’s Day killing of 21 Egyptian Christians.
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Missouri Synod President to Keep Preaching Skills Polished
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The Rev. Matthew Harrison will serve a local church in addition to his role as President.
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Nuns Hopeful on U.S. Prelate’s Role in Vatican Probe
(RNS) The recent appointment of an American archbishop has the sisters and their supporters breathing a little easier.
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Jewish Groups Have Mixed Feelings on Highest-ranking Jew in Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) When Virginia Republican Eric Cantor becomes House Majority Leader next month, he will become the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in history.
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Despite Abysmal Track Record, Calif. Atheist Keeps Suing in Lonely Crusade
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (RNS) He is the most famous—and the loneliest—atheist in the country.
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Jews Ready to Roll out New Ethical Kosher Seals
NEW YORK (RNS) What does it really mean for your Hebrew National hot dog to “answer to a higher authority?”
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10 minutes with Robby McGee
(RNS) Every December, Christmas culture warriors square off over whether it’s politically correct to say “Merry Christmas.”
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Gallup: More Religious, More Healthy
(RNS) Americans who are “very religious” are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are less religious.
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Catholic Bishops, Evangelicals Praise START Treaty
(RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops and other Christian groups are hailing the Senate’s ratification of a treaty with Russia.
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Legends Abound for Lords-a-leaping and Maids-a-milking in `Twelve Days’
(RNS) Twelve drummers? Ten leaping lords? Two turtle doves?