Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

The weekend activity that can help you feel happier throughout the week

People who attend Sunday worship not only feel better during the time they are in church, but they are happier throughout the week than non-churchgoers, according to two new studies. The explanation for the happiness gap goes beyond the finding that non-churchgoers spend more time in passive activities such as watching TV and less time with family and friends in social situations. Spending time in social rituals that reinforce their faith also seems to provide individuals with meaning and positive coping skills that contribute to better mental health.

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Are clergy underpaid? New study reveals rising wages, shorter hours and a diminishing wage gap

The price of a clerical calling is declining along with the wage gap that separates them from other college-educated Americans, according to a new study analyzing Current Population Survey data from 1976 to 2013. Just how much? The study found clergy are gaining ground financially faster than more than nine in 10 Americans with college degrees.

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How to foster kindness and gratitude? Positive attitudes, faith and humility all play a role

Can we become kinder, more grateful individuals in a me-first age where increasing racial, ethnic and religious tensions undermine our capacity for compassion and divide the body politic? The answer appears to be yes, according to new studies that add to evidence suggesting virtues can be nurtured.

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Studies find atheists, Christians hold similar core moral values but prejudices persist

Atheists and Christians share many of the core universal values such as compassion and fairness that are at the heart of a just, civil society, a new study suggests. Yet when asked to judge one another, members of the two groups embraced many of the negative stereotypes that fuel the culture wars in the U.S

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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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Saving grace: The leadership virtue that can help congregations work through conflict

Science is suggesting an effective pastoral response to working through conflict. Humility. Intellectual humility in particular. New research projects are finding the more pastors are perceived to be intellectually humble, the more likely they are to be forgiven by people who took offense at something they said or did. This was especially the case in one study for perceived transgressions in the area of religious beliefs, values or convictions, core areas of religious identity that have the potential to tear asunder congregations.

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Balancing sin and forgiveness on the path to a healthy life

How can believers buffer the negative effects of an unhealthy preoccupation with transgressions while benefiting from sin’s appeal to humility in being able to accurately assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses? Forgiveness may be one good place to start, according to a new study. Americans who reported experiencing being frequently forgiven by God were far less likely to show symptoms of depression and other mental health ills associated with strong beliefs in the fallen nature of humankind.

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Is your congregation a clergy killer? How churchgoers matter to mental health of pastors

Clergy who serve flocks that support them in their times of need and let their pastors know how much they mean to them are much more likely to be satisfied in their ministry and have a higher quality of life, according to a new study. However, the more clergy feel isolated in their work and forced to meet unreasonable demands, the more likely they are to suffer anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion, research indicated.

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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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Religion, tolerance and the unmaking of prejudice in the Trump era

Politicians from Donald Trump to leaders of populist radical right political parties in Europe attempt to appeal to Christian audiences while blaming immigrants, Muslims and other minorities for social ills. Yet it is far from clear whether they are winning the hearts of individuals for whom faith matters. Two new studies call into question the idea faithful women and men in relatively peaceful democracies are swayed by appeals to close their borders to immigrants and Muslims.

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