When it comes to fierce theological debate—excommunicating,
eternity-in-the-balance doctrinal warfare—neither the ecumenical
councils nor those unpleasant doings in Geneva have anything on my local
A new administration in Washington brings the promise of new approaches to deadlocked and dangerous international conflicts. President-elect Obama has indicated his intent to rethink and recast our relationship with Cuba, for instance. Anyone who visits Cuba can see how the U.S.
The prevailing topic of conversation at my mother's retirement home is
the food: the menu, the cooks and—not least—the order in which people
are served. While I tire of of hearing about the daily drama, I know
that what is true at "the home" is true for many of the rest of us.
Construction of religious buildings is at its lowest level since record keeping began in 1967. Declining participation and financial funding and a shift away from megachurches are cited as reasons for the decline. Congregations are also deciding to put more money into ministry rather than structures. The building of religious structures peaked in 2002 and has been decreasing ever since, though there are signs that it may have bottomed out in 2013. Mormons and Muslims, both with growing populations, are exceptions to this trend (Wall Street Journal, December 4).