Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

The recession hits churches

May 26, 2009
Churches, which tend to ride out recessions better than many other institutions, are struggling to finish building projects, reporter Kathleen McLaughlin writes in this weekendâ??s IBJ.

The recession and stock market downturn have forced parishioners to scale back commitments, resulting in delays or smaller projects.

St. Paulâ??s Episcopal Church on North Meridian Street has laid off staff and cut giving to other ministries as its endowment shrank.

Grace Community Church in Carmel plans to take on a small amount of debt to finish a $28 million construction program. Some places wouldnâ??t bat an eye at a small loan, but Grace Community is accustomed to building with cash.

If youâ??re part of a faith community, have you reduced your donations? If so, why?

And how do you feel about some of the larger construction projects? Kathleenâ??s story notes that people are gravitating to larger churches, which require bigger buildings. Have the merits of smaller congregations been lost as church membership consolidates?
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