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Black churches bucking the trend of decline

At Alfred Street Baptist Church, the pews start to fill more than half an hour before the service begins. White-uniformed ushers guide African-Americans of all ages to their seats. Some stand and wave their hands in the air as the large, robed choir begins to sing.

In September, after using a dozen wired overflow rooms, the church will start its fourth weekend service.

So many people attend, church leaders are now asking people to limit their attendance to one service.

It's all about communion

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Today's first reading sounds like a description of a feast of fools. Who would brag that they were singled out to receive a special invitation addressed to the ignorant or a reserved place at the supper for the simple? Yet when Lady Wisdom sets the table in her mansion, she is very particular about her guest list -- she invites only the unpretentious.

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