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Perspectives on Presbyterians and the larger religious scene from the research staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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November 14, 2014

1001 New Worshiping Communities Initiative is Energizing Congregations!

A recent panel report by PC(USA) Research Services indicates that the 1001 Worshiping Community initiative is doing more than merely creating new communities – it is also breathing new life into existing congregations. Members, ruling elders, and teaching elders alike agree that these new worshiping communities are enhancing their congregations’ energy level and community engagement. Some congregations are even seeing a little bit of numerical growth.

The catch? These positive effects are a direct result of partnering with a new worshiping community—something that most congregations are not doing.

Presbyterians overwhelmingly support the idea of their congregation partnering with a new worshiping community in some way, and most see the value of starting new worshiping communities as a way to reach the next generation.

But here’s the thing: word is not getting out fast enough. In our report, 81 percent of members, and 62 percent of ruling elders, stated they were not familiar with the 1001 New Worshiping Communities Initiative. Far too few congregations are connected with a new worshiping community.

Partnerships with new worshiping communities take many forms, but we found that the top four ways in which churches partner with new faith communities are relationship-building events, providing financial support, partnering in service work, and praying for one another.

1001 New Worshiping Communities is doing more than enhancing the church’s numbers – it is enhancing the church’s energy….at least, for those who are aware of and connected to the movement. So let’s increase that awareness!

Read our Panel Summary for more

Categories: Research

Tags: 1001 new worshiping communities, church growth, presbyterian panel, research

June 9, 2014

The Presbyterian Panel: Listening to Presbyterians since 1973!

Did you know the average Presbyterian is a 63-year-old married female who graduated from college? How do we know this? From the Presbyterian Panel! 

The Presbyterian Panel helps church leaders know who Presbyterians are and what they think and do. The Panel consists of scientifically selected members, ruling elders, and teaching elders who respond to quarterly surveys over a three-year period. Besides being used to create a vital “snapshot” of current Presbyterians—identifying demographics such as median age, education level, and political party affiliation—results from the Panel also help guide PC(USA) policy formation, program development, and evaluation. 

This ...

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May 19, 2014

Women Rule?

In Presbyterian news this month a large congregation, Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, called the Reverend Shannon Kershner to lead their congregation.   Reverend Kershner was previously pastor of Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the 27th largest PCUSA congregation with 657 members.  Fourth Presbyterian Church, with 5,251 members, is the third largest church in the denomination, behind Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota.  Previously, the largest congregation being led by a woman (Reverend Pamela Driesell, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta) had 2,202 members.

According to the most recent ...

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May 15, 2014

Who Supports the Death Penalty?

In a previous blog post we examined worshipers’ opinions concerning the death penalty.  In 2001 and 2008, the U.S. Congregational Life Survey asked the following question: “Are there any cases in which you believe persons convicted of murder should receive the death penalty?”  A majority of worshipers support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder.

This mirrors Americans’ opinions on the death penalty; the majority of Americans (55%) favor the death penalty.  The Pew Research Center finds men are slightly more likely than women to say they support it (58% for men; 52% for women).  Also, Americans ages ...

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May 7, 2014

Kill the Death Penalty?

Last week, the execution of an Oklahoma inmate has revived the ongoing debate about the death penalty in the United States.  Drugs administered before the lethal injection, which contain a sedative and painkiller, did not work and the inmate suffered a painful death.  Could this embolden the call to do away with the death penalty?    The use of the death penalty has been declining around the world.  The United States ranked in the top five countries with the most executions, following Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China, which had the most. 

A recent Gallup poll shows that, in the case ...

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