According to a recent study by Lifeway, 49% of Protestant pastors frequently hear their congregants repeating conspiracy theories. In institutions that purport to be about the truth, and tout Jesus’ teaching, “the truth will set you free,” why are churches such hotbeds for conspiracy theories?
So often, ministry is treated as something that ordained people do, but the priesthood of all believers tells us that everyone is called to ministry, and that churches ought to spend considerable time developing everyone’s gifts in ministry and helping them articulate their various vocations. That commitment is centuries old, but it is only in this present pandemic that I am seeing its promise truly come to life. It continues to enrich my own ministry to see it as a shared endeavor with congregants, and I am finding new contours of my own call in the wake of the pandemic. For that, I’m thankful.
As we pray for peace in Israel and Palestine, as many churches are currently doing, that does not mean sitting in the middle and avoiding making moral judgements.
As two members of my congregation recently let me know that they had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, I decided to write a prayer to be recited upon receiving the coronavirus vaccine for members of my congregation and for the wider world.
Following the attack on the Capitol one week ago today, we asked our contributing authors to share a brief reflection or excerpt from what they were planning to say to their congregations in sermons, pastoral letters, and prayers.