The Wrath of Pew and the Road to Character

Schadenfreude No More Another Pew poll showing another major decline in church attendance appeared this week. This is becoming a habit! The 2015 poll shows church attendance is down nearly eight percent since the 2007 poll that had us all talking. And that mysterious group we hadn’t heard of until 2007, the “nones,” increased from [Read More...]

The Transient, the Permanent, and the Stitching Horse: What Remains True in Religions

When I was a kid, I loved wandering in the barn on my grandfather’s farm. The barn had been built around a two-story log house. In the loft of the barn was a jumble of old farming equipment. My favorite piece of equipment there was what was known as a stitching horse. This was a [Read More...]

Religious Humanism: What Was Old is New Again

Church Attendance Free Fall The Barna Group, a research group that keeps up with trends in religion, estimates that 48% of Millennials (born 1984-2002) are “post-Christian.” Forty-eight percent. “Post-Christian” means that they have heard of Christianity; know its claims; swim in its assumptions; and have little to no interest in it as a method for [Read More...]

Greenery Without People: The Future of Post-Religious Community

I don’t get it about the natural world. Like, greenery, without people in it, is supposed to do what? ~Charles Smith   How to do religious community in a post-religious world . . . . As a senior minister in an urban congregation, it’s something I think about every day. For most urban North Americans, [Read More...]

A Prayer for Wonder Restored

What does is mean to be a people of wonder? This was the evening’s invitational question for the small group ministry covenant group I have the honor of facilitating in New Orleans. And it has me thinking…and praying. Almost every black person who talked with me after the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the death [Read More...]

Sunny Side Up with a Side of Racism?

Yesterday after church, my family and I stopped at a favorite cafe in Hartford. It’s a funky kind of place with a diverse clientele and a good Sunday brunch. I walked in while my spouse got the baby out of the car. I asked a white woman who was standing by the door whether she [Read More...]

The Rise of the Totally Awesome ‘Whatever’ God

“Moralistic therapeutic deism.” That’s the term sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined to describe the religious beliefs of the average North American. Rev. Robert Vinciguerra calls it “egonovism,” a neologism constructed of “ego” and “novo,” new. Rev. Rob claims that most Americans are Egonovists, even though most don’t know it. http://revrob.com/society-topmenu-49/223-continued-observations-on-the-egonovism-of-american-society-and-dialogs-with-egonovists Why are [Read More...]

Spiritual but not Superstitious (Mystical Without the Mumbling)

“Spirituality” is emotion. Sometimes the spiritual emotion springs from a consciously adopted attitude toward the world we see around us. Sometimes it hits us unexpectedly. A “spiritual experience” can be anything from the warm-fuzzy feeling we get singing a song we love to the inexpressible “mystical” experience of feeling one with all that is. Both [Read More...]

Reps of God: Christian Triumphalism and the DIY Future of Unitarian Universalism

LITE The future of Unitarian Universalism does not lie in Christianity Lite any more than the future of Anheuser-Busch lies in Bud Light. Oh, wait: Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have a future: it was bought out . . . by a European corporation that makes tasty beer. In our consumerist religious landscape, the mainstream Christian denominations are [Read More...]

House on Fire: Church Attendance in the US

There it is, yet another study indicating that the number of American Christians who attend churches regularly has dropped yet again. (see link below) Currently the number of those who attend church once a month or more has dropped to something on the order of eighteen percent, less than half of the number who claim [Read More...]


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