Jack Hayford has died at 88 . The Foursquare leader had a wide influence on evangelical worship, penning the most popular church song of the 1990s and teaching many pastors that God is “enthroned” in the praises of his people.
One in three Americans under 30 don’t go to church as often as they did before the pandemic.
CT heard from evangelical seminary leaders in Ukraine about celebrating the holidays during war: “Russian rockets fly over our heads during this Christmas season, but we have no fear because we know God is with us.”
Behind the story
From Kate Shellnutt: Each year, I take down my Christmas tree on Epiphany, January 6—not purely out of observance of the liturgical calendar but in part because it takes away the decision-making for when we feel ready to “wreck the halls” and box up all our trimmings. When I lived in Houston, I also came to look forward to January 6 because the final day of the Christmas season was met with the arrival of king cakes—the brightly sugared imports from New Orleans as well as the traditional Mexican rosca de reyes with dried-fruit jewels. The sweet treats signaled that it wouldn’t be too long before Mardi Gras season.
Whether or not you’ve enjoyed a slice of king cake yet, it’s not too early to look ahead to Lent, which begins in just over a month. Our annual Lent devotional is on sale all January at an early-bird discount. New Life Rising offers readings from Ash Wednesday through Easter, New Life Rising offers readings from Ash Wednesday through Easter, reflecting on the power of Christ’s resurrection.
In other news
Chicago pastor James Meeks preached his final service at Salem Baptist Church, one of the city’s biggest and most influential African American congregations. (CT spoke last year with his successor, Charlie Dates.)
The founder and director of the 100-member Higher Calling gospel choir, Kevin Lemon has died at 44.
Now is your chance to own a Geneva Bible carried to America by a Puritan woman in 1633.