Creede Hinshaw

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CREEDE HINSHAW: How about a poll for churches?

FAITH: Could value be found in creating a Religious Intensity Poll?

Such a poll would cover certain months of each church year, say from the First Sunday in Advent to Pentecost Sunday, roughly a seven-month season (December–June). Churches could be placed in various “leagues” according to congregation size so that smaller churches would not compete against mega-churches.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Two examples of Christian witness inspiring

FAITH: Decisions that seem foolhardy to outsiders are the stuff of Christian witness

Christians are not the only courageous people, but my faith background leads me to recognize two examples of people who have risked themselves for others.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Where do you find meaning in weekly worship?

FAITH: Ranking the elements of worship in terms of meaning

This is a hopelessly subjective question. One week the anthem might top the list, the next week the sermon. One week the praise band or the pipe organ might be the most inspiring element and one week it could be the morning prayer or a hymn that the congregation sings with particular fervor.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: The lamps could go out again at any time

FAITH: Few things have changed in the political realm since the period leading up to World War I

The negotiating table, whether it be in Iran, Ukraine, Israel, North Korea or Afghanistan, is still populated with leaders pontificating nobly while scheming desperately.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Kindness, gentleness on endangered list

FAITH: Few political candidates endorse kindness strategy

Our daily behavior produces monumental, long term results. The choice is between whether by our behavior we want to build a better world or a more hostile place.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: When traveling, find a place to worship

FAITH: Occasional change can help us appreciate different aspects of the Trinity.

Overlook that you’ll be in a congregation of strangers. In Christ all are brothers and sisters. Just go. You’ll be glad you did.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Freedoms of America should be appreciated

FAITH: News this week shows importance of the Bill of Rights

As long as the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution) has been ratified, we’ve argued over their meaning. This week, in our nation and in Georgia, we’ve seen new chapters written for what it means to be a person of faith (and a gun owner).

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Minister offers summer reading picks

FAITH: Books on men of the cloth are numerous

One book I have not read is South Georgia native and United Methodist pastor G. Lee Ramsey’s “Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern Fiction.” It’s on my list and I wish I had written it.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Oliver Goldsmith's poem may provide some answers

FAITH: "The Deserted Village" should be required reading for all

One only has to read a few lines of Goldsmith to envision the empty storefronts of most small south Georgia towns: the boarded and shuttered dress shops, drug stores and movie theaters; the rotting farm houses; semi-collapsed barns, and rusting implements. This demonic process is still working its curse and few can resist the onslaught.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Moving Day brings unique challenges for Methodist ministers

FAITH: One pastor moves in, another moves out on the same day

‘Moving day’ for South Georgia United Methodists is next Wednesday.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Diplomatic role played by your pastor

FAITH: Role pastors play not unlike that of Pope Francis

The next time you read a story about Pope Francis dealing with conflict and reconciliation, substitute the name of your pastor.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Aligned with God ... or vice versa

FAITH: The idea that we make God in our does not fairly describe biblical faith

Faith is not about aligning God with one’s pre-conceived notions of life and religion. Faith is about aligning self with God.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Tradition of ceremonial prayer on legal solid ground

FAITH: No place for denigrating other faiths in prayer

These are ceremonial prayers and were already fairly innocuous even when they were not prayed in Jesus’ name.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Numerous factors impact church attendance

FAITH: Congregations use various methods to try to pack the pews

When it comes to "pew retention" at church, the duty should be shared by every member.

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CREEDE HINSHAW: Children get more out of church than you might think

FAITH: There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the faith development of children

Certainly it is important for a congregation to help youth find and articulate faith, but such treasure often grows by slow accretion, consisting of things as ordinary as seeing adults sing hymns of faith together or bow their heads to pray.

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