Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Our Vanishing Churches--a Miscellany

That's the title of John Phipps post on AGweb.  It's an eloquent analysis of the plight of small rural churches, getting smaller as the community shrinks, and as their religion seems less relevant.

The Post has an article on the vanishing churches of DC.  It attributes the decline to black congregations moving to the suburbs.  But the article notes that some congregations are moving into alternate spaces, rentals, homes, movie theaters, rather than the traditional church building.  (A building, which IMHO, often was a status symbol, displaying the wealth and therefore spiritual devotion of the congregation.

The Post has another article on Lutheran ministers riding circuit--a couple handling five churches. As is mentioned in the article, Methodists have often used the process--the church my parents married in was Methodist and by the time I arrived, it was one of three churches being served by one minister.

My grandfather at the end of his career as a Presbyterian minister was sort of a roving troubleshooter in the Dakotas, much of his time apparently dealing with the issues of declining membership.  That's a trend which has only continued.

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