The Disappearing Religious Gender Gap

It is relatively well known that America is a more religious country than most and that in America women are significantly more religious than men based on most traditional measures of religious belief and behavior. When I discuss religious behavior with a variety of audiences one measure resonates more than any other: attending religious services.  New research suggests that the once wide gender gap in religious service is now narrowing. More specifically, it was was cut in half from 1982 to Read More …

Search for a Church: 9 Months & Counting

Last September following a move across the country my wife and I began to search for a church.  That search is ongoing.  To date we have reviewed the websites of 40+ Mainline Protestant congregations in our area identified 26 congregations for visits visited 23 congregations and planned visits to the 3 remaining congregations selected 5 congregations that appear possible matches and committed to visiting each a second time this summer Several key categories help me process my Read More …

Global Decline in Religious Freedom

According to the recently released United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's 2016 Annual Report religious freedom decreased from February of 2015 to February of 2016.  The report also finds that "There are increasing opportunities for the U.S. government to work in concert with like-minded nations on issues relating to freedom of religion or belief." At nearly 300 pages in length, the report offers in-depth insight into the work of the Commission and the state of religious Read More …

Remembering Daniel Berrigan

On Saturday the Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan passed away at the age of 94.  He served as a Jesuit priest for more than 60 years and the author of more than 50 books.  Berrigan is best known for his commitment to non-violence and was, in the words of fellow Jesuit James Martin, a "tireless promoter of peace." Whether or not you knew of his ministry, I encourage you to reflect on a few of his many powerful quotes: "No principle is worth the sacrifice of a single human being." "One is called to Read More …

Finding Your Ferguson

Last week I shared 5 Ways to Create a Moral Tomorrow.  That list includes general issues that impact our entire nation.  This week, I focus on local issues.  What issue(s) within your own local community demand(s) attention? Finding Your Ferguson The Rev. Starsky Wilson has become widely known as the result of his tireless work in and around Ferguson. He served as co-chair of the Ferguson Commission and is one of three incorporators for a nonprofit called Forward Through Ferguson. Read More …

5 Ways to Create a Moral Tomorrow

Deanna Vandiver, Executive Director for the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (New Orleans, LA), recently challenged her readers to recognize their "spiritual responsibility for a moral tomorrow."  That responsibility means taking action to insist that Black Lives Matter respect the gender spectrum and offer hospitality to everyone unlimited by their pronoun welcome the immigrant stranger as friend and work for #not1moredeportation fight for $15 and living wages for Read More …

When “It Still Works” Isn’t Good Enough

For the better part of a year, my wife and I have been renovating the house we call our home.  While we have updated many houses over the years, this time our efforts are more comprehensive.  We are committed to refashioning it to our tastes and to remaking it for 2016.  As the first phase was nearing completion, it became clear a second phase was needed to handle items that still worked fine but were no longer good enough. When 1989 was placed side-by-side with 2016, it was hard to ignore Read More …

Online Church Calendars

As someone in search of a church, I have spent a fair amount of time reviewing the websites of churches in my geographic area.  Thankfully most include a calendar that displays what is (or, in some cases, what is not) happening right now and in the near term future.  Since I have no real connection to these communities of faith, I assume that all activities (or at least all that they think important) appear on the public calendar. Observations The size of a church (both the square footage Read More …

All Time Most Popular Posts

I have now posted well over 1,600 times here at SoWhatFaith.com.  There are many reasons I keep writing, but none more important than you - my readers. Based on your views, my 16 most popular posts are Review of Not a Fan (2011) Lost, Found, Party (2015) Prayers of the People - Youth Sunday (2009) Reading the Whole Bible (2010) The Acceptable Year of the Lord - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2011) Top Church Websites (2012) 12 Marks of Convergence Christianity Read More …

View from the Pew: 8 New Sacred Spaces

As someone who has spent most of my adult life serving local congregations, the opportunities to visit other faith communities for worship have been few and far between.  In recent months, however, I have been able to participate in worship in many sacred spaces as a guest. In my final post of 2015 I shared eight images from my "view from the pew" series.  Since the start of 2016, I have been fortunate enough to visit an additional eight congregations.  Images of these experiences Read More …