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Leadership
Scott Williams writes:  There are many attributes that various leaders possess, many of them positive and unfortunately some not so positive. People are looking for particular attributes in leaders they want to work for. Leaders that possess these attributes generally have a positive, healthy work environment with minimal turnover. Below are 11 Attributes People Are Looking For In a Leader. We will creatively title them: keep reading
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ELCA (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is in trouble… in fact, trends show number of churches is down significantly over the past ten years, and the number of people attending services is down significantly as well.  From the Orlando Sentinel: The Lutheran magazine’s January cover story is about the decline in membership and churches of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

ELCA Trends: Nearly 30 percent of ELCA churches average less than 50 people for Sunday services. Average worship attendance dropped 26 percent between 2003 and 2011. More than 1,000 ELCA churches have closed during the past 10 years, some merging with other congregations and some just shutting down.

The plight of the Lutherans is not unfamiliar to Protestant denominations. In 2012, less than half of Americans identified themselves as Protestants, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “Nearly every U.S. Christian denomination has seen membership declines in the past two years, including Southern Baptists, who seemed invincible in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s,” Radziszewski writes. The Lutherans have tried to reverse the trend with Congregational Renewal Partnership grants, which provided 163 congregations with $2.5 million in 2011. The grants are for three years, but renewal often takes five to seven years, said Neil Harrison, director for Renewed Evangelizing Congregations. // Read more here… What do you think will happen to the ELCA.  Can they turn it around?
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A new study by Rice University and the University of Buffalo say that kids are pretty important in determining whether their parents go to church or not.  Especially among atheists: Some atheist scientists with children embrace religious traditions for social and personal reasons, according to research from Rice University and the University at Buffalo — The State University of New York (SUNY). The study also found that some atheist scientists want their children to know about different religions so their children can make informed decisions about their own religious preferences. “Our research shows just how tightly linked religion and family are in U.S. society — so much so that even some of society’s least religious people find religion to be important in their private lives,” said Rice sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund, the study’s principal investigator and co-author of a paper in the December issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. The researchers found that 17 percent of atheists with children attended a religious service more than once in the past year. // Read more here…
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Trends
A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers. The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation. The team’s mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one. The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries. The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. via BBC News – Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says. What do you think?  Can religion become ‘extinct’ as this study suggests?  What do my Canadian friends say about Canada being on the list?  Accurate?
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