It's the Friday Five: Our favorite religion story, our most popular post and more

Today's post is brought to you -- as they say on "Sesame Street" -- by the number five.

The GetReligion gang is trying out a new kind of post -- the "Friday Five."

At the end of each week, we'll share a few links and quick details in this listicle format. Along the way, we hope to provide a mix of important and insightful information and even a smidgen of humor. 

Here goes:

1. Religion story of the week: We mean for this to be a positive mention. Some weeks, this will be the best religion journalism that we spot. Other weeks, it'll simply be our favorite read of the week.

This week, who can ignore a Godbeat feature that makes reference to "concealed carry hymnals?" Katherine Burgess of the Wichita Eagle wrote this story on a man who saved his church with a "hymnal and a body slam." 

2. Most popular GetReligion post: We publish a lot of posts (as many as three or four a day) on this journalism-focused website that analyzes the mass media's coverage of religion. Here, we'll highlight the post that proved the most popular in a particular week. This week, that honor goes to Richard Ostling's post titled "Evangelical voices persist: What about traditional believers who didn’t choose to be gay?"

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Here at GetReligion, we sometimes refer to our "guilt folders." Editor Terry Mattingly coined that term to describe those stories we'd like to mention but for whatever reason never get around to. In this space, we absolve ourselves of some of that guilt and also share reader-submitted links. This week's story: Tennessean religion writer Holly Meyer's compelling Thanksgiving Day profile of a minister who has managed to show forgiveness after a mass shooting at his Nashville-area church.

4. Shameless plug: All of us who write for GetReligion do so in addition to other writing gigs. Here, we'll go ahead and make a shameless plug for you to read stories by us or people to whom we think you need to pay attention. The one I'm sharing this week was published by Religion News Service. It's a feature on a day in the life of a Salvation Army bell ringer. I hope you enjoy it.

5. Final thought: Some weeks, this may be a serious thought. Other weeks, it may be anything but. Maybe a really crazy tweet storm or a must-see YouTube. It's hard to avoid looking at The Babylon Bee, and similar sites, every now and then. Lutheran humor? Maybe. Ditto for Catholics?

This week, it's certainly more on the tongue-in-cheek side as we share the Church Curmudgeon's insight on end-of-year Bible reading.

Thanks for checking out this trial balloon, first take on the Friday Five! Please don't hesitate to tell us what you like and what you don't about this new approach.


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