June '22 Rector's Message
Reliable sociology of religion research shows that occasional religious formation (worship, fellowship, service, and education) leads to worse moral outcomes than having no religious formation at all. We also know from other research that even ten years ago self reporting of being a regular practitioner of a religion had gone from ‘I attend worship (and more) at least twice a month’ to ‘once every 4-6 weeks’. Anecdotally we hear that more people are ‘tuning-in’ more frequently, however the volunteership and participation with the limited fellowship offerings we have restored, is less than it was. There isn’t any shame in that, although there is the grief over the loss of chances to better know each other. I am hopeful that we can choose to put energy into opportunities that shape faithfulness not just fill the time. Because the reality of life right now is that the social and economic demands on time are exhausting across every generation, especially young people and their parents. I find myself caught between disappointment at not having as many chances to accompany families through these times, and the pastoral compassion that sees that y’all need rest!! The direction, liberation, and comfort that the practice of the Christian faith offers will not fix the demands, but it can offer a space and grace to meet these realities with strength that is not yours alone. Making the choice to attend as well as help create and lead on-site faith forming moments does impact long term dreams you have for yourself and the community.
As this is being published the ‘Sunday School’ rooms are being transformed into cleanable, accessible, flexible space that will both help us shape faith and be an asset to the meeting needs of the whole congregation and the neighborhood. I would like to ‘break it in’ this summer with a fresh activity for families with school aged (and younger children). However I would like some help in making the choice of what that is. So far attempts at surveying haven’t yielded substantial results - but perhaps a front page article will. If you are a parent or grandparent of young people connected to this congregation what day would be most available and which of these would be of greatest interest:
Breaking in the Sunday School Rooms
Thanks for your imput!