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Rev. Carol McVetty, Pastor, North Shore Baptist Church, Chicago

I think the most powerful thing I receive is the sense of being cared for…someone who really gets it is thinking about what it is like to be a pastor, and caring enough to send along an encouraging word and …

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Posted in testimonials | 1 Comment

How to survive Advent: a guide for church professionals

Exhausted yet? Pastors, church musicians and educators can find the run-up to Christmas even harder than Easter. Christmas has more family obligations than Easter – and we offer more church special events through December. One year we attended a late …

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Posted in Congregational Life, Leadership, Ministry | Leave a comment

Church giving reaches depression-era lows

I respect the work of Empty Tomb which for years has done in-depth studies of trends in church giving. In October they came out with their new report, The State of Church Giving through 2011. You can download a chapter …

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Posted in Ministry, Money | Leave a comment

A story about giving thanks as spiritual discipline

After my last post on giving thanks as a spiritual experiment, I got the following e-mail from my colleague, Joe Kutter, which I share with his permission: “It has for years been a part of my prayer discipline to name …

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Posted in Ministry, Personal Growth, Prayer | Leave a comment

Giving thanks: a spiritual experiment

We can shift our relationship with money through practicing gratitude. In church life, a focus on celebration, gratitude and abundance begins with the leader. We can cultivate gratitude daily, and what better time than Thanksgiving to remind ourselves of this …

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Posted in Leadership, Ministry, Money | Leave a comment

Take the Next Step

I came across this image of a sculpture called “Walking Madonna,” by Elizabeth Frink, in the cathedral close at Salisbury. Esther de Waal in her book To Pause at the Threshold, refers to this statue, and I found this photo …

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Posted in Personal Growth | Leave a comment

How to use social media like St. Benedict

How much time do you spend on social media? Engaging with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc., etc., whether for ministry or personal purposes can be: fun, infuriating, overwhelming, inspiring. You laugh at a funny picture, are touched by a …

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Posted in Books, Congregational Life, Ministry, Personal Growth, Prayer | Leave a comment

Five reasons to celebrate All Saints Day all year

Who are the saints who contributed to your life and to your church? There’s never a bad time to celebrate the saints of the past. True confessions: I missed All Saints Day completely. It’s November 13, too late to make …

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Posted in Congregational Life, Leadership, Ministry | Leave a comment

Jimmy Carter on clarity of purpose

Sunday Parade magazine published an interview with Jimmy and Roslyn Carter. It included a photo of Carter teaching Sunday School in Plains. I was struck by the last paragraph of the interview. The questioner asked, “Mr. President, how do you …

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Posted in Leadership, Ministry, Quotes | Leave a comment

Are there spooks in your church?

It’s Halloween, and I’m thinking about church spooks. No, not ghosts, exactly. I don’t really think churches are literally haunted. But sometimes the ghosts of the past are present in the life of a congregation. A few examples: A founding …

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Posted in Bowen Family Systems Theory, Congregational Life, Ministry | Leave a comment
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