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The author's daughter gathers Easter eggs on Palm Sunday 2020. The community Easter egg hunt was canceled because of the pandemic, so instead volunteers scattered eggs in the families' yards, surprising each child with a personalized goody bag. Photo courtesy of Allen T. Stanton

Allen T. Stanton: The gifts of the small church in a pandemic

In times of sickness and anxiety, the deep relationships in a small-membership church can be a powerfully sustaining force, writes a leader in cultivating thriving rural communities.

Detail from the cover of "Planning Sabbaticals: A Guide for Congregations and Their Pastors."

Excerpt: 'Planning Sabbaticals: A Guide for Congregations and Their Pastors'

In this excerpt from his recent book, author Robert C. Saler writes about pastoral sabbaticals as a time of reinvigoration and reflection for both church leaders and their congregations. Saler directs the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs and the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary.

Faith and community leaders join hands during a workshop on community organizing practices hosted by Wake Organizing in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo from Wake Organizing Facebook page

Melissa Florer-Bixler: Capitalism is killing the small church

Small churches struggle to attract and keep congregants, but the issue is not a lack of programs or a younger generation’s disinterest in faith. The problem is that people are exhausted by our economy, writes a pastor.

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