Clergy Notes 1996-2001


Clergy Notes was a monthly publication by The Polis Center as a part of their Project on Religion and Urban Culture to provide information about issues that were of interest to clergy regarding their communities and urban life.

Published from November 1996 to March 2001. Each issue has a topical title.

Recent Submissions

  • Unknown author (1996-11)
    Are we becoming a nation of loners? Yes, claims sociologist Robert Putnam in his essay "Bowling Alone."
  • Diamond, Etan; Farnsley, Arthur E. II (1997-05)
    Like a photograph, a survey provides a snapshot of people’s attitudes or behaviors at a single point in time. It often reveals little about the past and how those attitudes have changed. Only by comparing different surveys ...
  • Unknown author (1997-03)
    A map doesn’t tell the whole story about the territory. When you talk with residents about their neighborhoods, you are soon struck by the different ways citizens describe their environment.
  • Unknown author (1997-04)
    How do congregations react when the neighborhood changes? Most congregations don't do anything, according to Hartford Seminary sociologist Nancy Ammerman and her colleagues.
  • Unknown author (1997-05)
    Around the Indianapollis metropolitan region, inter-church partnerships are being created and considered. Researchers from The Polis Center are observing several urban-suburban partnerships.
  • Unknown author (1997-06)
    Congregations of all sorts have been in the volunteer business a long time. Polis researchers have found that the volunteers congregations recruit are mainly for the educational, administrative and liturgical programs of ...
  • Unknown author (1997-07)
    All the economic signs say the country is prospering. Unemployment is down, profits are up, and governments are getting more tax dollars than they expected. But there may be another side to this rosy picture. But there may ...
  • Unknown author (1997-08)
    What influences the relation between congregations and their neighborhoods? You'll find you end up with a handful of questions. But good questions are more interesting than pat answers.
  • You Carry 
    Unknown author (1997-10)
    There is nothing settled in the life of a religious community. Many a congregation started its life in the center of town, moved to a residential neighborhood as its members become more prosperous, pulled up stakes again, ...
  • Unknown author (1997-11)
    On Oct. 21, a diverse group of clergy, lay people, and non-profit leaders gathered at North United Methodist Church to discuss the impact of welfare reform on religious outreach programs. The daylong conference, "Congregations ...
  • Unknown author (1998-01)
    For many congregations, the boundaries that traditionally kept them apart – or aloof – from the wider community have been crumbling. Enclaves once defined by denomination, neighborhood, ethnicity, or class may find that ...
  • Unknown author (1998-02)
    An interview with David Bodenhamer, Director of The Polis Center. The conversation centered on research being conducted by the Center for its Project on Religion and Urban Culture.
  • Unknown author (1998-07)
    There’s a myth that the long hot days of summer are a time for easy living and light reading. We have asked some friends about their summer reading, and the titles they recommend sound anything but lightweight.
  • Unknown author (1998-09)
    The better I get to know the faithful people of the congregation I serve, the more I’m convinced they have deep yearnings and aspirations to make a contribution to the common good. They wonder what knowledge and energy ...
  • Unknown author (1998-10)
    Do religion and religious communities really contribute to the civic life of a neighborhood? Do congregations provide valuable services, and if so, what kind? Are houses of worship gathering places not only for members, ...
  • Unknown author (1998-11)
    What Do You Know? Suppose this question were posed to you: What do you know about your congregation’s neighborhood? What do you know about the city of Indianapolis, and how can you learn more? A goal of the Project on ...
  • Unknown author (1998-12)
    As a child, I was brought up with Bible maps that plotted in huge squiggles Abraham’s wanderings through the ancient Near East. The community which Abraham and Sarah drew around them seems a model for our contemporary ...
  • Unknown author (1999-02)
    Scholars use the term declension to describe the deterioration or declining influence of an organization or institution. The theme of declension…encourages the tendency to pay more attention to what religion is not doing ...
  • Unknown author (1999-01)
    While many congregations own computers, few benefit fully from their capabilities. How important are these "indispensable" machines to you?
  • Unknown author (1999-03)
    While there are hopeful examples of congregations trying to address systemic racial injustices, the reality remains that racist attitudes exist even in those organizations which historically have advanced the cause of ...

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