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Sweetie could you please get the kids dressed and take them to church this morning I cant go today because I just have too much work to do and I have to go into the office today and see a client But you did the same thing last Sunday I know but next Sunday it will be different I promise This is an all too common dialog between individuals and their spouses on Sunday mornings when one of them does not have the time to attend church or another religious activity Dr Penny E Becker conducted research on this topic in order to see if this observation was totally correct The purpose of this research was to find out if and how congregations have changed the way they think and talk about family life and their family ministry practices in the face of shifts in work and family The Religion and Family Project sponsored by the Eli Lilly Endowment collected data on 125 congregations in four communities in upstate New York A stratified random sample-survey was conducted on 250 of 1000 individuals who live in those communities A census survey was taken of all the pastors of each congregation In-depth interviews participant observation and historical research were used in the selected congregations to explore their views of the ministry with family They found that the congregations involved in the study still upheld the concept of the standard package of family ministry This is meant when there are programs that involve participation from individuals of the family such as father mother and whatever offspring that they have even on the weekends Several shifts in family life and family ministry took place during the research period The first was that of the congregations studied are either questioning the centrality of the family as a unit around which to organize ministry or are engaged in an active re-thinking of what constitutes a
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