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

Out with the Old, In with the New? Not So Fast!

Revitalizing the Work of the People

Our church has three regular worship services a week.   Two of them are in our smaller chapel space, have minimalist bulletins in lower case letters, pastors on barstools using iPads, Communion bread from the pop-up gluten-free bakery down the street, guitars and keyboards. The other service is your father’s Oldsmobile: it features a pastor in a robe with... Read more

Are Young Adults Over Traditional Religious Rituals? Maybe Not as Much as You Think!

For a while I didn’t understand why Hollywood was obsessed with creating horror movies based on Catholic traditions. From “The Exorcist” (1973), to “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), and “The Nun” (2018), Catholic tradition seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to tales of supernatural fear and trauma. I voiced my confusion, and my friend matter-of-factly said,... Read more

Born to Believe

Ritual Visions from Mexico

In "Born to Believe," I reflect on the beliefs and rituals children inherit from previous generations as they attempt to express life’s importance as it occurs, and often when it is most out of control. At birth our religious choices are determined by our parents. For children in Mexico, where over 80% of the country is Catholic, this means that they will most... Read more