A few months ago I wrote about the difference between having two jobs and two vocations. A commenter wondered, "What if you really do have two callings?” I’ve been doing bivocational ministry in one way or another for the past seven years. Overall I have found having two vocations—I serve as a hospital chaplain in addition to being a Century editor—to be fruitful and fulfilling. But I have to confess that it isn’t easy.
The household I grew up in did not have a lot of rules. My parents were first-generation immigrants who worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. So even if we'd had a lot of rules, they would not have been home to enforce most of them.
By one estimate 7,000 churches close down each year in the United States. A 2012 study predicted that 20 percent of the churches in Philadelphia would close within ten years. Many of these churches are architectural gems. Razing these buildings can be very expensive. A more satisfactory solution is to repurpose them, turning them into art and culture centers or housing units. The Mount Airy Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia is having 20 condominiums built on its property. The sanctuary will be leased back to the congregation for its continued use (Philadelphia Inquirer, August 4).