News & Ideas

Friday's News & Ideas - 7/1/2022

  • Churches and July 4
  • Israel remarks draw criticism
  • Christian professor comes out
  • Churches must adapt
  • Secret sounds of Notre Dame
  • Doing good feels good

Most American pastors say it’s important for churches to get patriotic on July 4*
Relevant: July 4 is just around the corner and, along with it, an old debate about how American churches should celebrate. A new study from Lifeway says most pastors think churches should get patriotic for Independence Day.

New World Council of Churches head draws criticism over Israel remarks
Religion News Service: Jewish leaders voiced frustration with the Rev. Jerry Pillay's comparison of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa.

The hidden life of a Christian-college professor*
New Yorker: For years, Kathy Lee, a professor at an evangelical university, kept her sexual identity a secret. Then she decided to come out.

Churches must learn to adapt to ‘permanent transition,’ Leonard stresses
Baptist News Global: Understanding congregational identity demands clarifying the specific needs not only of the church but also of the community, said Bill Leonard, church historian and retired dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

The secret sounds of Notre-Dame’s bells
Smithsonian Magazine: An artist is live streaming the bells’ imperceptible vibrations, which reflect the city around them. Bill Fontana, an artist based in the Bay Area, isn’t capturing the familiar ringing of church bells. Instead, his focus is the imperceptible sounds of the bells’ vibrations.

The Spark

The joy of saving the world
Research suggests that the boundaries between self-interest and altruism aren’t tidy: Doing good for others makes us feel good,* and we engage in all kinds of pro-social behaviors to get that warm glow, a kind of morally informed dopamine hit, says The New Republic.

*Access limited for non-subscribers



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Friday's News & Ideas - 8/5/2022

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New resource: 'Pandemic Changes Worth Keeping'

So much has changed about church worship since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Those pandemic-forced pivots have created some worship opportunities worth keeping.

Use this resource from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to start a conversation about creative opportunities to involve and reach people in virtual, in-person and hybrid worship.

Learn More