Today's "Friday Five" comes to you from the Pacific Time Zone.
The GetReligion team doesn't get together often in person. But this week, the crew -- including editor Terry Mattingly and contributors Julia Duin, Richard Ostling, Ira Rifkin and me -- met on the West Coast to contemplate the future. That's the sort of thing people do when a website turns 14 years old -- as in our Feb. 2 anniversary.
Why talk about what's ahead? Well, strategic planning is always a good idea for a forward-thinking organization. Beyond that, our prolific leader -- tmatt -- isn't getting any younger (which he told me to point out). As if to prove the point, the Boss Man celebrated his 64th birthday during our gathering. Even better, we had a reason to eat cake!
As for our future plans, when there's something to announce, count on someone above my pay grade to do so! Planning and blue-skying things takes time.
Meanwhile, back to the Five:
1. Religion story of the week: tmatt highlighted this simple-but-beautiful story Thursday.
"Every now and then, you run into a story where all the journalists covering it really needed to do was round up some facts, find a few compelling voices, capture the images and then get out of the way," tmatt noted.
Be sure to check out the GetReligion post and the remarkable BBC piece out of Pennsylvania coal-mining country with the headline "This church has survived a fire that started back in 1962."
2. Most popular GetReligion post: We have a repeat winner. Tmatt occupies the top spot again this week with his post headlined "'This is not a drill': The Washington Post pays attention after nuclear threat interrupts the Mass." That post concerns the ballistic missile threat that alarmed residents and tourists of Hawaii on Jan. 13.
The second-most read item of the week was my post titled "What!? About that Washington Post religion story on clergy gathering to bless late-term abortions."
3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): I've had a good, long run in journalism, but now I'm considering a career change.
I just might want to work for In-N-Out Burger.
I'm joking (mostly), but did you see the recent USA Today story noting that the fast-food chain's manager earn, on average, over $160,000 a year?
Why do I bring up In-N-Out here at GetReligion? Because I'd suggest there's a potential holy ghost in how well the chain treats its employees.
In a piece on "20 companies with religious roots," the Deseret News noted in 2013:
In-N-Out Burger prints several Bible references on its cups, containers and wrappers. Some of the scriptural references include John 3:16 and Proverbs 24:16.
Rich Snyder was a born-again Christian and the founder of the West Coast fresh burger company. Early on, Snyder decided to use his company to share his beliefs. The company has continued to do so ever since.
4. Shameless plug: Baptist Press had a story this week headlined "Views on Trump 'not a distraction,' pastors say."
The basic idea: Southern Baptists have diverse views -- pro and con -- on the nation's commander in chief. That will be a surprise to quite a few political-beat journalists.
The shameless plug part is that the piece quotes GetReligion:
The range of views noted by these Baptist leaders seemed to mirror, at least in part, religion journalist Terry Mattingly's assessment of evangelical views on Trump in a Jan. 27 post for the Get Religion blog. Among evangelicals, Mattingly wrote:
-- Some "supported Trump from the get-go."
-- Some "may have supported Trump early on, but they have always seen him as a flawed leader -- but the best available."
-- Some "moved into Trump's tent when it became obvious he would win the GOP nomination" for president.
-- Some voted for Trump in the general election because they viewed him as "the lesser of two evils."
-- Some "never backed Trump and they never will," but "they are willing to admit that Trump has done some good."
-- Some are among "the evangelical left," reject "anything he touches" and voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
5. Final thought: This was the lede on a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story this week:
Sex outside of marriage, use of pornography, drinking alcohol beverages, smoking, cursing or gambling could all leave you jobless at Kenneth Copeland Ministries/Eagle Mountain International Church — even if you do them on your own time.
Even if you do them on your own time!?
How #Shocking (as in #ShockingNotShocking) that a ministry would care about how employees behave off the job. But give credit to the Star-Telegram for making me smile.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear GetReligion readers!