This week in Friday Five, we've got closing churches. We've got "Submarine Churches." We've got serpent-handler churches.
We've even got a church -- flash mob style -- at a Chick-fil-A.
I bet you just can't wait!
So let's dive right in:
1. Religion story of the week: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune had a fascinating piece this week on how a way of life is fading as churches close.
The "first in an occasional series written by Jean Hopfensperger" explores how "Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations face unprecedented declines, altering communities and traditions celebrated for generations."
2. Most popular GetReligion post: Editor Terry Mattingly's post titled "New York Times asks this faith-free question: Why are young Americans having fewer babies?" occupies the No. 1 spot this week.
A close second: Julia Duin's post titled "Catch a Deuteronomy reference? Another #ChurchToo case emerges in Tacoma."
3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Here's a phrase you don't hear every day: "phantasmagorically weird."
Godbeat pro Kimberly Winston uses that description in an NPR piece that highlights a religion angle tied to the 50th anniversary release of a remastered version of the Beatles' 1968 film "Yellow Submarine." The intriguing headline: "Inspired By The Beatles' Love Gospel, 'Submarine Churches' Bucked Tradition."
4. Shameless plug: As Julia Duin noted in her post this morning, she has a Houses of Worship column in today's Wall Street Journal on how "Christian Serpent-Handlers Protect Us All."
The takeaway: "We enjoy religious freedom because of those who hold unpopular beliefs."
Be sure to check out her column.
5. Final thought: Who needs musical instruments to worship God?
A video of a flash mob of a cappella worship leaders singing at a Chick-fil-A in Nashville, Tenn., recently went viral.
Happy Friday, everybody!
Enjoy the weekend!