Five for Friday: Eating Dinner Together, Vanishing Clergy, Fair-Trade Coffee-Not Fair?

CHICAGO, IL (February 13, 2015) — Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Stan Friedman is traveling with Covenant World Relief, so we are reprinting some of the best links from the past year.

Why Families Need to Sit Down and Eat Dinner Together
From the article: “The average American eats one in every five meals in her car, one in four Americans eats at least one fast food meal every single day, and the majority of American families report eating one meal together less than five days a week.” In families that eat meals together at least five times a week, children are significantly less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs, be truant from school, or do poorly academically.

The One Word Men Never See in Their Performance Review
How many of us dread our annual performance review? This study indicates why women might dread it a lot more than men. This was one of the most-read Fast Company stories of 2014. Perhaps unsurprisingly, critical feedback was doled out in a much higher ratio to women: 58.9% of men’s reviews contained critical feedback, whereas an overwhelming 87.9% of women’s reviews included criticism.

10 Reasons Fair-Trade Coffee Doesn’t Work
Could this be another case in which helping hurts? There may be legitimate counter-claims, but this article reminds us of the need to re-examine our assumptions.

Higher Calling, Lower Wages — the Vanishing of the Middle Class Clergy
We are in the midst of a radical cultural shift that has implications for how congregations do ministry and how seminaries do education. As full-time pastors become more and more rare, seminary grads are working secular jobs to supplement their incomes. Kurt Fredrickson, the Fuller faculty member quoted in the story, served at Simi Valley Covenant Church north of Los Angeles for 24 years.

What Will the End of the Offering Plate Mean for Christian Worship?
The author raises an interesting question—one that is increasingly being asked at churches where people are able to contribute online. He suggests that getting rid of the offering plate may be a good thing. What’s not so good, in my opinion, is his reason.

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