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Author Joe LaGuardia

Two Baptist leaders from Cuba stayed with my family recently. Maykel Baez Bruffau, pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Jordan and president of the Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba, and Ms. Lissett, a musician and worship leader in a sister Cuban church, visited the U.S. recently as part of an ongoing partnership between the fraternity […] Read More

Churches not adept in conflict management or basic communication skills run the risk of abusing staff or draining staff energy to the point of burnout. Lloyd Rediger argued in “Clergy Killers” that some churches are so destructive and dysfunctional that they have actually persuaded some staff to give up ministry altogether. Sometimes this happens when […] Read More

I came off of a very productive Lent this past season. My Lent involved fasting from politics – from listening, watching, reading and anything having to do with politics. That was a good exercise. Before Lent, I was up too late watching CNN, wasting away in the midnight hours reading The Washington Post and subjecting […] Read More

Faith communities make a positive impact in supporting caregivers. In a recent joint effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and RTI International, researchers explored five interfaith communities that provide care for loved ones suffering with dementia and their caregivers. The report, “Faith-Related Programs in Dementia Care, Support and Education,” summarizes best […] Read More

Baptists don’t celebrate Ash Wednesday. That was the reason given to me a few years ago by a local Christian bookstore employee in explaining why they didn’t have any Ash Wednesday resources. I had stopped by the store looking for Ash Wednesday items for children – stickers, pencils and so on – and I was […] Read More

Robert Parham noted recently the oddity and the timeliness of God’s message of “peace on earth” to Mary and Joseph during the Christmas season. He stated that peace was a ridiculous notion back then as it is now, a notion hard-pressed in a human community filled with violence and vitriol, domination and oppression. That first-century […] Read More

Every so often, I stumble upon a new way to read and study the Bible. Scripture tells us that it is good to meditate on God’s Word day and night (Psalm 1:2), but it is difficult to know how to dig deep in its teachings. In exploring the lessons of the psalms, Bible scholar F. […] Read More

I am the first to admit that many in the pastoral profession desire all the perks of being a CEO in a local church – complete with salary and benefits – while refusing to be held accountable to the same standards as CEOs who work in the business world. CEOs get a bad rap these […] Read More

Every election year, we see the influence of a demographic voting block, often pitched as a uniform and monolithic movement, called “evangelicalism.” Evangelicalism, a loosely defined subculture in American Christianity, rose to political prominence under the Christian Coalition in the late 1970s and has championed major reforms and legislation that transcend partisanship. Now, nearly 40 […] Read More

Lent began this week in the life of the church. It is a time of preparation and penitence, a time for deep reflection in the depth of winter’s cold. Although it is not a common practice in many Baptist churches, Lent can still hold powerful inspiration for a vibrant faith. Lent has fallen by the […] Read More