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There are a whole range of special foci outside the big two of Christmas and Easter that can be included as part of regular “worship events.” Epiphany (Jan. 6), Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Advent), Remembrance Day (Nov. 11), Baptist World Alliance Human Rights Sunday (Dec. 10/11) name but four. I know congregations who […] Read More

We have been inundated in recent days with news of random killings, racial killings and retributive killings by terrorists. The saying once was popular, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Never have we yearned for this to be so true since the recent random killings by a crazed gunman interrupted an outdoor concert. We […] Read More

Many churches are seeking to incorporate times in which the family can stay together to worship, grow and learn about God together in church, but they don’t know where to start. This has been confirmed to me by children’s ministers and family pastors across the country with whom I’ve spoken. “The predominant mindset in Christian […] Read More

Just a few blocks from my house stands a very large and active mainline Protestant church. I’ll leave the denomination unnamed. Throughout the year, it sponsors and hosts numerous special events including seasonal worship services attended by hundreds if not thousands. Its Vacation Bible School yard signs are all over the neighborhood, and I see […] Read More

I have noticed a steady increase over the past several years in the number of articles and social media posts about whether and how churches should observe Mother’s Day. This year, I noticed that similar posts about Father’s Day have remained steady – at zero. In case it was just me, I asked around. Only […] Read More

Father’s Day is right around the corner, which begs the question: “Do dads really ever get a day?” While Father’s Day is on every calendar, both print and electronic, most dads I know have to be reminded when their day rolls around every June. In fact, many men will tell you that it doesn’t feel […] Read More

I attended church last weekend (Pentecost Sunday) with a dear friend, and she inquired about how widespread the practice of following the Christian calendar is among Baptists. Well, as you know, there are quite a few varieties of Baptist; however, I do think it is fair to say that there is growing interest in planning […] Read More

A pastor new to his church removed the American flag from the sanctuary. He received a death threat as a result. His leadership in that church was brief and unhappy. Meanwhile, at another church, a patriotic holiday rolled around. So did the military hardware. The flag was not only prominently displayed, it was paraded into […] Read More

There is no walk of life, other than in a religious setting, where the term worship is properly used. We use it as a metaphor to try and express profound respect or love for another person – “He worships the very ground she walks on.” – but true worship is solely a religious activity, an […] Read More

A lay leader called with a problem I suspect some church leaders are also wrestling with: a likely low attendance on the last Sunday of the year – Christmas Day, Dec. 25. He asked for some ideas about a “Lessons and Carols” service as a way to have an easier service working with limited numbers […] Read More