Day: August 11, 2007

Striking a balance

Today, the New York Times has a feature on Pastor Dan, the UCC minister who writes on faith and politics for Daily Kos at a community blog called Street Prophets. The article notes Pastor Dan’s primary challenge: living out a “strikingly unlikely double-life, one part as the small-town preacher in a socially conservative spot of the Midwest, the other as an abrasive and confrontational voice of the religious left in the blogosphere.”

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Church and customer service

The Rev. Tom Ehrich, writer for On a Journey, suggests that churches declare August customer service month in his most recent column for the Indy Star. The reason? Churches are competing for “business” in much the same way that banks and hardware stores. It’s not that salvation is a commodity, he notes, but he was inspired by customer service agents poised to meet his needs from the moment he walked in to his new bank.

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Helping the Holy Land

George Ghanem, a Fulbright Scholar at George Washington University, is an Arab Christian. He speaks plaintively and honestly about life as a Christian in the Holy Land, and about how all the violence there has affected Palestinian Christians. The Centreville, Va., resident volunteers with the Holy Land Christian Solidarity Cooperative, appearing at churches in D.C., Maryland and Virginia with nativity scenes, crosses, and other items, all handcarved from olivewood.

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More on Va. ruling

From ENS: Virginia’s Fairfax Circuit Court ruled August 10 in favor of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia in denying the claims of 11 separated congregations that the court should not consider the Church’s Constitution and Canons in deciding property disputes.

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Religious investments

Faith-based investment products that speak to people’s moral and spiritual conscience are following in the footsteps of “socially responsible” investing, which was making headlines some

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Biblical storytellers

Studies show in fact that story-telling is the most effective way of communicating a complex of ideas – about truth, about culture, about expectation, about social norms, about values – to any person or group of people. Anybody who has heard a good sermon, seen a good play, or heard a great ballad understands this.

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Clare of Assisi

Although Francis’ life and writings are a primary source for Franciscan spirituality, it is now widely recognized that Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) was not merely a dependent figure but a significant personality in her own right in the origins of the Franciscan tradition. Inspired by Francis’ preaching, Clare dedicated herself to a gospel life in 1212 and became the first woman member of the Order.

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