Chase Nordengren ( is a graduate student in Seattle, Wash.

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In tough times, churches should stick with what they do best

Young Voices: Reports of the death of any tradition are likely exaggerated. Still, I wonder what the church might do if its formal membership drops below a critical point.

Varying approaches to pop culture mirror differences in contemporary church life

Young Voices: Our obligation to engage serious art isn't precisely to evangelize or to make newcomers more comfortable. The obligation is for us.

Seeking an elusive 'third place' in the Eucharist

I don't drink. Reactions to learning this from friends or acquaintances vary, but they're ordinarily quite dramatic. I suppose I can't begrudge folks their curiosity: We have loaded the decision to opt out with a variety of high-magnitude significances, from health or temperance to addiction and solidarity. None easily apply for me.

Searching for meaning during the summer doldrums

Summer is a quiet time in university life. The smarter among us run off to vacations and retreats while the rest of us board ourselves up to type and condense the work of the year. Foot traffic on campus slows down. Coffee shops close earlier. Even church has, in August, become slower: Our two services have pared down to one; our organist has taken her deserved vacation; and services have the prevailing feeling of continuance.