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.

What We’re Reading & Who We’re Becoming

Bearings Contributors Bring in a Fresh Catch of End-of-Summer Reads

What we’re reading at any given time in our lives says a lot about what’s going on in our lives, who we are, and maybe a bit about who we’re becoming. After all, the stories we absorb from the pages of books, the ideas we imbibe, and the images that float into our consciousness become part of our own stories—part of who we are. The science fiction writer Ursula... Read more

After the Awakening that Slept In: Can the Mainline Church Listen to a New Wake-Up Call?

For the last year or so I’ve been saying an unpopular thing to people in Mainline churches, but it’s a thing I think we need to hear: There is no Next Great Awakening. The promised Emergence has retired to a cottage in the Ozarks. And, perhaps most discomfiting of all, the Missional Church has pretty much lost its way. How do I know this? Well, how do we all... Read more

Graffiti & Grace in the Liminal Church: The Church Mediates God’s Love. That’s Social, But Not Always Digital

Editor's Note: An edited version of this story previously appeared in The Narthex.  We are thankful for that publication’s permission to share the piece here. The Rev. Thomas Broad and wardens of Grace Episcopal Church in the rural hamlet of Randolph, New York engaged in a remarkable act of social media ministry one Sunday morning a while back. I learned... Read more

Affiliating in the Age of Unaffiliation: How Digital Social Networking is Changing How We Gather

“I haven’t really given it much thought, but I’m really not looking for community when I go to church,” a colleague said when we talked at a consultation earlier this year sponsored by the New Media Project. We’d been thinking about the ways in which new digital media practices—not the technologies themselves, but the ways we use them in the midst of our everyday... Read more

Selma’s Prophetic Call to Ministry Leaders

The movie “Selma” opened across the nation last week, anticipating Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday. Featuring David Oyelowo as The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, a star-studded cast enacts the wrenching circumstances and political wrangling that resulted in the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery,... Read more

Who Do You Say that You Are? The Stories of Spiritual Selves in the Postmodern, Postchristian World

There’s discouraging news again this month in my Episcopal denomination. No, not feuding seminary faculty and administrators—though that is truly awful—but another report of declining membership. Earlier this year, the Presbyterian Church (USA) reported similar membership losses. You can find the same sort of data on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),... Read more

Sharing the Load in 21st-Century Ministry

When we were brainstorming names for the new blog for The BTS Center blog, we agreed quickly that something related to the real, geographical landscapes and cultural nuances of ministry in the 21st century was important. The BTS Center is a Maine native, and its immediate network is in Northern New England. Though the Center’s mission extends to wider regional... Read more
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