Bearing Witness at the Border

People of Faith Welcoming Strangers to a Hostile America

Coming back from what seems to be an increasingly shorter summer hiatus, we often incline to focus Bearings on somewhat more congenial concerns by way of ramping into a publication season that we know will face its share of challenges. But this time around, living in the world we all inhabit together, that didn't seem to the responsible way to go. That doesn't... Read more

The Summer Send-Off Issue

Slow Walking into the Next 5 Years of the Bearings Pilgrimage

My friend Keith Anderson—a good friend of Bearings as well—has taken to the open road. He's on pilgrimage along the famous, well-worn Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Portugal and Spain for eleven days. (You can follow his journey on his pilgrimage blog.) The start of Keith's pilgrimage this past week reminded me that we continue to be on our own sort of journey... Read more

The Science of Religion

How the Scientific Imagination can Illuminate Religious Experience and Ministry

Some years ago I gave a talk at a now-defunct seminary in which I argued, surely less eloquently than I might have liked, that a critical postmodern challenge for people in ministry was developing scientific literacy and fluency. I took as my starting point Albert Einstein’s argument in Ideas and Opinions (1934) that “the main source of the present-day conflicts... Read more

Create Your Own Bearings Adventure!

Share Your Feedback on the 2019 Bearings Reader Experience Survey

In our five years of publications, Bearings Magazine has grown considerably. Beginning as a humble, weekly blog, we have developed into a full-fledged online, monthly magazine with thematic features engaging key issues in 21st-century ministry, creative insights from a range of artists that offer inspiration and challenge for ministry practice, and rich commentary... Read more

Ritual Reboot

Balancing Tradition and Change in the 21st-Century Church

Rituals are central structures for common worship, and they’ve certainly been subject to scrutiny, critique—even conflict—and change over the centuries of the church. In this issue of Bearings, our featured contributors, Claire Dixon, a 21-year-old Catholic college student, and Max Grant, a “more life experienced” UCC pastor, share perspectives on the balance between... Read more

Sharing the Season

Gifting a World of Abundant Need

In a season of giving, what does it mean to share our spiritual abundance? How does that spiritual giving inform our engagement with the concrete realities of those in need? These are the questions we set out to explore in the December issue of Bearings with Feature writers Paul Houston Blankenship and Darleen Pryds. For his part, Paul started where his work as... Read more

Ministry on the Edge

Exploring Margins, Boundaries, and Frontiers in 21st-century Ministry

In this month's Bearings Magazine, we explore the margins and frontiers of 21st-century ministry. Our contributors walk into the places where ministry presses against, straddles, and transcends ecclesial, social, cultural, and personal boundaries—among others—marking paths toward new, revitalized 21st-century ministry practice. In the first of two Featured Articles,... Read more
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