Responsive Communities

Congregations and Homosexuality vol. 2, no. 7   (3/2001)

Homosexuality is an increasingly divisive issue for congregations and denominations. Through dialogue, some congregations are trying to better understand—and reconcile, if possible—the polarized positions.

Hunger Relief vol. 2, no. 6   (2/2001)

Millions of Americans live with the threat of going hungry. Congregations and religious organizations provide food to the hungry, promote self-sufficiency, and lobby for public policies to relieve hunger.

Congregations, Spirituality, and Health vol. 2, no. 5   (1/2001)

Both medical science and cultural trends have focused attention recently on the connection between faith and healing, a subject about which congregations have had conflicting opinions. Congregations are reclaiming spirituality’s role in health care through religious services and programs intended to promote health and healing.

Congregations and 12-step Recovery vol. 2, no. 4   (11/2000)

Each year, millions of Americans seek help for addictions of all kinds. Some congregations host 12-step groups, and other congregations form their own recovery support groups.

Congregations and Community Banking vol. 2, no. 3   (10/2000)

Low-income communities often have no access, or only limited access, to banking services and investment capital. Congregations have started credit unions to leverage the economic resources of their members and neighborhoods.

Youth Mentoring vol. 2, no. 2   (9/2000)

Many children have few positive adult influences and limited opportunities to learn fundamental social skills. Congregations have established mentoring programs to instill discipline, transmit values, and provide positive role models to the city’s most vulnerable youth.

Prison Ministry vol. 2, no. 1   (7/2000)

A large number of U.S. residents are in jail or prison: a situation that burdens the imprisoned, their families, and society. Faith-based organizations are working to reduce recidivism and to serve the imprisoned in various ways: by seeking their religious conversion, by reaching out to their family members, and by promoting legal reforms.

Congregations and Non-member Weddings vol. 1, no. 12   (6/2000)

Congregations are often approached by non-member couples seeking to have a church wedding. While many congregations desire a more visible presence in their community, these weddings can be problematic. Many congregations decline all such requests by non-members, while other will host such weddings only under certain conditions.

Urban-Suburban Partnerships vol. 1, no. 11   (5/2000)

Urban congregations often have great needs, but lack the human and financial resources available in suburban congregations. Partnerships between urban and suburban congregations match resources with needs and create opportunities for interaction among people of diverse backgrounds.

Ministerial Alliances vol. 1, no. 10   (4/2000)

Congregations often have little information about the activities and programs of other congregations. Ministerial alliances provide clergy with an opportunity to share information and a forum for addressing common concerns.

Congregations and Poverty Relief vol. 1, no. 9   (3/2000)

Despite the limited staffing and resources of congregations, people in need turn to them for social services. According to their missions and resources, congregations assist those in need directly or by referring them to helping agencies.

Congregations and Child Care vol. 1, no. 8   (2/2000)

Since the 1960s, demand for child care has risen sharply. Congregations have started child care programs at a remarkable pace, particularly in the past few years.

Congregations as Public Space vol. 1, no. 7   (1/2000)

Communities need services and meeting spaces, but these may not be locally available. Congregations respond to community needs by offering programs and opening their facilities to others.

Housing and Homelessness vol. 1, no. 6   (12/1999)

An increasing number of people in Central Indiana have inadequate or no housing. Congregations are working together and with other organizations to devise programs to address housing needs.

Congregations and the Arts  vol. 1, no. 5   (11/1999)

The role of the private sector in sustaining the arts has become increasingly important as public funding has been cut. In small but significant ways, religious organizations are reviving their traditional role as patrons of the arts.

Faith-Based Schools  vol. 1, no. 4   (10/1999)

Many parents perceive that public education has declined in quality, and believe that religious values have disappeared from schools. Faith-based schools offer a private school education grounded in freely expressed religious values.

Congregations and Cyberspace vol. 1, no. 3   (9/1999)

The rapid growth of the Internet has dramatically changed the way people find and exchange information-leaving many congregations behind. Congregations are turning the Internet’s power of communication into a tool for building stronger bonds of community.

Parish Nursing vol. 1, no. 2   (8/1999)

Many health problems seem to have causes other than the physical conditions addressed by traditional medical practice. Parish nurses seek to help people with health problems by addressing their spiritual well-being.

Adult Day Care vol. 1, no. 1   (7/1999)

Less-than-satisfactory performance by some established care providers, and the general graying of the American population, are generating demand for alternatives in senior care. A small though growing number of congregations have established adult day care programs to provide part-time senior care in a safe environment.