Preaching to polarized congregations:

A responsibility and a challenge, clergy say

(RNS) — The Rev. Susan Sparks, a minister and a professional comedian, uses humor in her sermons to help her American Baptist congregation in New York City consider ways to approach those with whom they disagree.

Pastor Joel Rainey, who leads a West Virginia evangelical church, hosts a “special edition” of his preaching podcast to answer questions he’s received from his politically diverse congregation about hot-button issues.

Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin recently preached about anger, realizing it was an emotion felt by congregants of her Reform synagogue in Washington, no matter their stance on the Israel-Hamas war.

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