“One last thing. If you ever have a choice between performing a wedding or performing funeral, take the funeral.” So said my pastor when I was 15 and announced my goal to follow in his footsteps. He wasn’t joking. At…
Lessons from a Hindu wedding: What if the point of evangelism is friendship?
I just got back from my third trip to Tamil Nadu, India. My academic program has a decade-long collaboration with two schools there, and their faculty have traveled to Oregon three times for shared projects. Over the years, I’ve built…
Supreme Court hears case of wedding website designer who won’t serve same-sex couples
While the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court appears ready-made to support a Colorado wedding website designer who doesn’t want to serve same-sex couples, other justices grilled her attorney hard about why she should be allowed to discriminate on…
COVID has tied the wedding business in knots
Three weeks before their scheduled wedding date of April 4, 2020, Sam Lebow and Meghan Dworschak wrote a final check to the caterer for their reception. “Two days later,” Sam said, “we had to postpone the wedding.” The reason? COVID-19….
Pulling off a wedding during a pandemic requires creativity and simplicity
If the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the pre-existing trend away from church weddings, some ministers say it’s also inspiring a surge in intimate ceremonies with faith as a driving force. “I have done twice as many off-campus weddings in alternative…
Is the pandemic-era church a church without baptisms, funerals and other major rituals?
“I have to ask myself: am I doing anything I was called to do when I became a pastor?”
The legal skirmish over online ordinations offers a chance to reaffirm what ordination really means
Hundreds of thousands of people have gone online to get ordained – not because they had a calling, not because a congregation had affirmed their gifts for ministry, not because they had completed a theological education and preparation for ministry – but so they could certify marriages.
More BFFs are officiating weddings, but look for ministers to make a comeback
Millennials and other religiously unaffiliated Americans are more and more eschewing clergy involvement in their weddings, but some ministers say that may not be a bad thing.
By David Gushee Follow David: @dpgushee Not long ago I had the privilege of officiating at a wedding. It had been a while since this ministerial task had fallen to me. This particular assignment reflected many of the trends affecting…