COMMENTARY: Change at the top

(RNS) Many congregations feel obliged to have long interim periods between pastors, during which all vestiges of the departed incumbent are erased, as if the transition were a traumatic divorce and remarriage, rather than a normal fact of institutional life.

COMMENTARY: Searching for a new imprint

(RNS) Our images of God, songs of worship and language of prayer tend to be those that were imprinted on us early on. It can take great patience and self-denial to hear another generation’s soundtrack of faith and take it seriously.

View of the Detroit skyline

COMMENTARY: When giants fall

RNS) Businesses fail every day. So do films, industrial parks, hospitals, churches, and marriages. No enterprise can survive getting too comfortable. Serenity comes from living on the edge, in constant transformation.

COMMENTARY: The value of connections

HODGDON ISLAND, Maine (RNS) For our three-night sojourn in coastal Maine, far from crowds and constructive work, we stayed at a lovely bed-and-breakfast called the Hodgdon Island Inn. As a frequent traveler accustomed to anonymity, I welcome the opportunity to chat with other guests.

"For better or worse" sign illustration courtesy  Shutterstock

COMMENTARY: The real threat to marriage

(RNS) Our consumer economy does not want to allow us to move beyond the shallow and self-centered and to attain maturity, perspective, wisdom, and that most holy of virtues: giving up one’s own needs for the good of the other.

COMMENTARY: The revolution is upon us

(RNS) Religious historians say that every 500 years, Christianity goes through a “massive transition,” as Phyllis Tickle puts it. We aren’t likely to comprehend this latest transition until it is further along. But two things are clear: Christianity in North America is being freed from its own roots, and Christianity no longer controls the flow.

COMMENTARY: The boogeyman approacheth

(RNS) Conspiracy theorists tend to overreach, and common sense sees through their extravagant imaginings, but not before lives have been ruined, urgent needs avoided, and people rendered a bit more suspicious of their neighbors.