Religious diversity is a gift. Even for those of us who are profoundly convinced of the “rightness” of our tradition, conversation with people of other faiths often provides moments of startling insight, not just into the beliefs and rituals of those who think otherwise but into the deepest heart of our own beliefs.
Author Archive | Sarai Rice
by Sarai Rice on October 15, 2018
I needed something like Will Strunk’s Elements of Style for spirituality—pithy rules like “use the active voice” or “omit needless words,” to reorient my life the way Strunk’s book has sharpened up my writing. Here’s what I came up with.
by Sarai Rice on September 10, 2018
“Shrink-Smart” communities have something to teach congregations about how to thrive where population is declining.
by Sarai Rice on June 18, 2018
On a warm day during Lent, you’re driving by a church in a suburban neighborhood. You see a Christmas wreath hanging on the church door. Quick, what’s your first thought? Is it, “That’s the place for me!” or “What’s wrong with those people?” Church buildings convey volumes of information, much of it by accident.
by Sarai Rice on April 23, 2018
As a strategic planner, I encourage congregations to look for places where their gifts and skills can meet the particular needs of their neighbors. As a human service provider, I watch my clients trudge all over town, piecing together services they need. I worry that despite our good intentions, sometimes congregations make life harder for […]
by Sarai Rice on February 19, 2018
Six of the eight Presbyterian congregations in my community are small enough to be within sight of closing. But I’m done being sad for them or anxious about them, and I think they should be done, too. I think it’s time for all of us to play!
by Sarai Rice on December 4, 2017
Many congregations are seeing a decline in contributions and attendance. Most of them try to address the decline, usually by tweaking staff size and deferring maintenance. But I rarely encounter a church that is willing to consider one of the biggest and potentially most energizing changes: letting go of the building.