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Changing Congregations

“The two-parent family with kids is still the main basis of American religious congregational life, but that kind of household is somewhat less common than it used to be. And each generation, as it reaches that stage of life, seems to be joining or returning to (a religious congregation) at a slightly lower rate than the one before it.

Mark Chaves, professor of sociology, religion, and divinity, quoted in the Dec. 21, 2008 issue of USA TODAY on findings of his National Congregations Study

Reading the Tea Leaves

“I’m sure a lot of churches are reading the tea leaves, so to speak. When you’re faced with declining retirement or declining stock portfolios or loss of jobs in particular, that does cause people to cut back on most things, including their giving to their church.

Jackson Carroll, Williams professor emeritus of religion and society, quoted in the Dec. 20, 2008 issue of The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) on giving to churches in a bad economy

Two Families of Anglicans

“It’s certainly going to be deplored by one part of the Communion and hailed by another. Are we going to end up with two families of Anglicans, and if so, are they in communion with each other in any way? There are so many possibilities and geopolitical differences, itís really hard to predict where this will go.

David Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns professor of the history of Christianity, quoted in the Dec. 3, 2008 issue of The New York Times on the Founding of a Rival Denomination to the Episcopal Church

Liturgy and Anarchy

“You need liturgical forms that allow for anarchy in the congregation.

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe professor of theological ethics, quoted in the Nov. 13, 2008, issue of The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on welcoming those with disabilities to participate in worship

Segregated Worship

“Today, worshipping separately is both a bad and a good thing. Bad because it gives an impression of disunity. It says that we are first black and second Christian. It’s good in the sense that we get to worship in freedom.

Esther Acolatse, assistant professor of pastoral theology, quoted in the Nov. 7, 2008, issue of The Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) on segregation of Sunday morning worship

Graham’s Gifts

“He never got over the good fortune of being a Southern farm-boy-made-good, always acutely aware of his lack of advanced education. He had a certain kind of wide-eyed innocence as he reached out in amazement to all those people who flocked with him. He enacted America’s idealized self. Heís modeling the kind of person people wish they were.

Grant Wacker, professor of Christian history, quoted in the Nov. 4, 2008, issue of USA TODAY on Billy Graham’s legacy