As a young preacher, I thought about church 90 percent of the time and about the oldchool.microphoneworld 10 percent of the time. It changed my preaching when I came to the realization that my congregation thought about church 10 percent of the time and about the world 90 percent.”

— Jerry Wallace, former president of Campbell University, quoted by Mike Queen in his Journey Notes

Sometimes while you’re in the middle of [making] a mat, you just realize you’re helping someone, and it makes you want to keep doing more.”

— Janice Akin, one of the “bag ladies” at Second Baptist Church of Union City, Tenn., that turns thousands of discarded plastic bags into sleeping mats for homeless persons (ABC News)

It was pretty overwhelming to just see the care and attention he put into that passion.”

— Pastor Derrick Ross of Celebration Church in Lakeville, Minn., on member Dennis Erickson leaving the congregation his collection of 32,000 model cars (CBS Minnesota)

The protest of [Martin] Luther was a good thing. For me, it gave me the capacity to go beyond the dictates of a hierarchical church.”

— Kenneth Meyers, faith formation specialist with the Alliance of Baptists, reflecting on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (BNG)

Not only are these our neighbors and friends, but they are brothers and sisters in Christ … and the church hasn’t treated the LGBT community like family. We have to do better.”

— Best-selling author and HGTV star Jen Hatmaker, in an interview with Jonathan Merritt that led to her books being removed from LifeWay Stores (RNS)

Faith must strive to achieve inclusive community where all people are welcome and safe, including the nonconformists.”

— Robert M. Franklin, Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at Emory University, calling for healing following a divisive political season (RNS)

For a group that was previously in bondage and is largely marginalized, the idea of freedom is powerful … On this night, we are reminded, there is hope.”

— Lesli White, a writer for Beliefnet.com, on the significance of Watch Night, especially in black churches, to welcome the new year

If we want to learn to love each other better, to live in healthy communities that support us when we’re struggling, to build a country in which flourishing is a reality for every person, then we have to start by telling our truths.”

— Amy Butler, pastor of the Riverside Church in NYC, on the mix of vitriol, compassion and shared stories that followed her earlier blog about facing a medically-necessary, late-term abortion (BNG)