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The laity and clergy were once equal partners in Baptist congregations. With the arrival of the megachurch and the CEO-pastor model, the influence of the laity has been in steady decline while clergy abuses have been on the rise. […] Read More

I have been thinking about Bill Wilson’s article on the word “just” since it appeared Oct. 31. In fact, the Rev. Bob Boston, retired Presbyterian minister and counselor, had already chastised me about saying, “I’m just a layman.” I understand that the phrase tends to create second-class citizenship for the laity. Using laypeople to teach […] Read More

I cannot stand this word and what it represents. I hear it far too often. It represents an attitude that should be banned from local church life. It is the word “just.” As in, “I’m just a layperson.” Actually, that is the specific context that makes me cringe when I hear this word. (I also […] Read More

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) As a student at Aquinas College in the 1980s, David Lincoln was on track to become a Roman Catholic priest. While those pastoral aspirations were later rerouted, Lincoln still wanted to serve God in the world. “I started to see the role of the laity was becoming incredibly important, and that’s […] Read More

(RNS) After a lengthy appeals process, the Vatican has ruled that nine Boston-area Catholic parishes should be closed despite six-year vigils and other forms of protest from parishioners. In a letter dated Dec. 15, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State said Pope Benedict XVI had “decided not to accept” an appeal from the Council of Parishes, […] Read More

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Monday (Oct. 18) praised Catholic lay movements as a source of vocations to the priesthood, but cautioned against their potential to breed divisions among future clergy, who he said “often live on very different spiritual continents.” The pope made his comments in an open letter to seminarians, marking […] Read More

I shared some thoughts about what clergy wish their congregations knew but are hesitant to share out of fear. Now I want to reveal what several laity have said to me when I’ve asked them what it is they wish their ministers knew but are afraid to share with them out of respect, fear of […] Read More

After 33 years in the local church pastoral ministry, sitting on the receiving side of the pulpit is a very different way to spend a Sunday morning. The transition is proving to be a provocative, illuminating and sobering experience. Some parts are extremely gratifying, others completely frustrating. Beyond the change in Sunday routine, I’ve been […] Read More