Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Culture matters: Reconciling faith and homosexuality across borders

No one factor tells the whole story of why attitudes toward homosexuality vary widely across national borders. But new research is helping to unravel why, despite the fact most world religions have proscriptions against homosexual practices, some nations are much more tolerant than others.

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Studies: How clergy can help believers die a 'good death'

Two new studies find that many clergy are both ill-prepared and reluctant to fully engage in end-of-life conversations with terminally ill congregation members and their families. The result, the studies suggest, is that more believers may be spending their final days enduring painful treatments with little chance of success.

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Science affirms how black lives matter in the black church - a source of hope and strength in troubled times

Science is providing greater insight into how black faith and the black church have been sources of enduring hope and strength in troubled times. Several new studies build on past research in revealing how this special faith continues to be associated with positive outcomes for black Americans amid the realities of discrimination and economic, political and social inequality.

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Lessons from Amazon: Being open to change can spur congregational vitality, growth

The majority of congregations are at a crossroad today: They must adapt to a culture where churchgoing is increasingly more of a choice than an obligation, or face a future of sustained decline. Yet many congregations have been reluctant to embrace any major changes in outreach to attract new members or retain younger generations. Instead, they appear to be cutting back, research indicates.

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A Christmas story: How humility can help de-stress new parents, build tolerance

New research on humility is revealing how “the quiet virtue” may help build peace in both the lives of individuals and in diverse cultures. Among the more immediate beneficiaries: Couples having their first child.

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Saying 'I do' may reduce religious ties, but parenthood boosts rate of return for couples AND singles

Even as young adults increasingly put off marriage, the traditional assumption that saying “I do” at the altar can help pump new vibrancy into congregational life no longer appears valid, new research indicates. What does bring young adults back to religious congregations is having children. And it is not just married couples with children that are filling pews.

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Worshipping alone: Studies find divorce retains its sting in faith communities

The religious stigma surrounding divorce remains a powerful source of anguish for believers, but few congregations have ministries for people recovering from failed marriages, new studies find. Believers are finding solace in a personal relationship with the divine, but many report feeling alone and judged at communal services across faith traditions, the research indicates.

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Secret shame: How online porn may cause spiritual struggles, disrupt families

As popular culture marches on in its acceptance of pornography, one group of Americans is not finding it as easy to adapt, research indicates. Many religious individuals are facing damaging spiritual struggles as they find themselves torn between the teachings of their faith and the same basic desires that have turned online porn into a multibillion-dollar business.

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The '1 percent' in mainline Protestantism? Congregations attracting young adults

Is there a point of no return for the resurgence of mainline Protestantism? As the movement enters its second half-century of precipitous decline, new research suggests that not only is there no end in sight, but there are few signs of hope for revival in rapidly aging, shrinking groups such as the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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The Amazon effect: Worshippers flocking to larger churches

Just as one-stop shopping behemoths such as Walmart and Amazon are fulfilling the retail needs of America’s consumers, larger churches are increasingly meeting the spiritual needs of America’s faithful. New research indicates a decline in attendance at the great majority of the nation’s churches, while churches attracting 400 people or more on Sundays are dramatically increasing their market share.

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