Contributor: Elizabeth Drescher

Elizabeth Drescher, PhD is the editor of Bearings and a Consulting Scholar at The BTS Center. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University and the author of Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones (Oxford University Press, 2016), Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation (Morehouse 2011), and, with Keith Anderson, Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (Morehouse, 2012) and Click 2 Save: Reboot (Church Publishing, 2018). Her commentary on contemporary religion and spirituality has been published in Alternet, AmericaThe AtlanticSalon, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, Religion Dispatches, The Washington Post, and other national publications. She is a much sought after speaker for religious and academic groups engaging the changing religious landscape in the United States. You can find Elizabeth on Twitter @edrescherphd.

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

Spiritualizing the Secular

Making Ordinary Places Religious(ish) in Northern California

Even in a time when formal religious affiliation and identification is declining, people typically associate religion and spirituality with specially designated spaces—churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. But ordinary, local landscapes—neighborhoods, yards, parks, restaurants, shops, and more—are routinely marked with elements of religious and spiritual... Read more

Giving Up, Giving In, Giving Hope

Rethinking How We Do Lent

As we begin the Lenten season in our various ways across the church, Bearings contributors have been mulling what the traditions of the seasons mean in these times—especially the practice of giving up something of significance to experience a wee bit, or at least express, an understanding of the sacrifice to which the season orients us. But like so many things... 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

It’s a New Year Again in America

Truth-Telling as Christian Superpower

Some Bearings readers will remember (or may have read about) the 1984 Ronald Reagan campaign commercial to which my title refers, “Stronger, Better, Prouder,” or more popularly, “Morning in America.” The ad used images rendered in pastel hues and sweeping orchestral tones in emotionally evocative major chords to create a nostalgic, optimistic dreamscape of an... 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

The Tree of Life Massacre

A Special Issue of Bearings

On October 27, 2018, a man walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in the predominantly Jewish Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Mr. Roger's actual neighborhood, as media reports like to point out. There, fueled by rabid anti-Semitic and xenophobic right-wing rage, he took the lives of eleven worshippers: Joyce Fineberg (75), Richard Gottried... Read more

Oh God of Mercy, Oh Wild God

Dancing from Grief to Possibility

The poet Gerald Stern (b. 1925) had much in common with the 11 members of Tree of Life Synagogue who were murdered on October 27. He was raised by immigrant parents in a Jewish household not far from the synagogue, in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. And, like most of those who died, his life was shaped in complex ways by the experience of living through... Read more

Calling Across the Bow

The Way Onward for Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry

When I started this piece some weeks ago, the world was a different place. I had taken a jauntier tone than feels possible now. After all, here we are announcing not only the fifth year of publishing Bearings—a milestone for any publication, big or small—but also celebrating the launch of a redesigned site for the magazine, a new publication schedule, and a new... Read more
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