Local news outlets across the country are folding. Some of the people developing creative ways to try to reverse the trend are evangelical journalists—people who see local media as a way to uphold truth and build community.
Deconstructing faith has become a popular topic of discussion online, but only about a quarter of pastors say they have seen deconstruction in their own churches, according to a new Lifeway Research survey.
The “deep misery and inextinguishable joy” of jazz music can make listening a spiritual practice, according to a new book on the genre.
Behind the story
From Daniel Silliman: I got lost once on a state route in Georgia. This was the days before ubiquitous smartphone maps and I thought I knew where I was going and then suddenly had no idea where I was. Wasn’t sure if I’d missed a turn. Or which direction I was headed. Or if this was even the right road.
Then I crossed an invisible county line and knew exactly where I was: Clayton County. I was a newspaper reporter there for a few years, which isn’t a long time, but long enough I had learned the lay of the land by heart. I saw a Popeyes chicken place and it didn’t look any different than any other Popeyes, but I knew immediately, without a doubt, that was the Popeyes near where I’d covered a motel fire.
You get to know a place with an intense intimacy when you work as a reporter for a small paper. I showed up at fires and homicides, interviewed kids about the best place to skateboard, read massive studies on waterways and roadways, listened to complaints about airplane routes, talked to a man who dressed up as Santa, and hung out at the courthouse, a BBQ, in old motels, a shipping depot, and a commuter parking lot.
As a Christian, I’d heard about loving my neighbors for a long time. But that was when I really felt that I got to know them. That meant I could pray for them, care for them, cry and celebrate with them in a way I, as someone who had moved around too much as a kid to have a hometown, really hadn’t before.
As Angela Lu Fulton writes, there are lots of good reasons to root for the success of your local newspaper. One of them, if you’re a believer, is just this: It’s a good tool for loving your community.
In other news
An insurance company covering churches in the UK has warned about an uptick in arson.
More than 100 conservative United Methodist churches in Florida are suing over the slow process for leaving the denomination.
A Slavic Baptist church in Sacramento has helped resettle 40 families from Ukraine and hired a new staff member to coordinate its refugee outreach.
The United Bible Societies reported that 32.6 million Bibles were distributed worldwide last year, up from slumping numbers during the pandemic.