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 Mainline Protestants being left behind

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They sit stately and unadorned in every community, churches of stone or white clapboard that link today's frenetic culture to a pious, inconceivably mannered past. It is easy to drive by these old-time Protestant churches, where generations of immigrants thanked God for their lot, and assume they will anchor the culture forever.

But scores of churches across greater New York that are part of the "mainline" Protestant tradition are now gasping for life. Aging congregations of only a few dozen people have become commonplace, presenting the possibility that many churches will close over the next decade or so.

A Journal News review of the five most prominent mainline denominations shows that their membership in New York City and the surrounding suburbs has fallen by 45 percent since the heyday of 1960, when the spiritual descendants of Luther, Calvin and Wesley composed the white-bread religious mainstream.

The five denominations — the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ — have been loath to close churches and sell off valuable real estate. As a result, they continue to operate more than 1,000 churches in the region for 300,000 members.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/6/11 4:07Profile
aeryck
Member



Joined: 2005/1/11
Posts: 234
United Kingdom

 Re: Mainline Protestants being left behind

You guys in the USA certainly have enough churches, now all you need to do is to go down on your knees and ask God to fill them ?


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Eric John Sawyer

 2006/6/16 11:07Profile









 Re: Mainline Protestants being left behind

It's all apart of God's plan. I read in our faith section of the newspaper today saying, "Come Home to Gods Home". Its the adverttisment heading for the churches in our area.

God's home is not a building, a temple or a synogog or a mosque, it's MAN.

Shut 'em all down, and let the glory of God rest in the new man, Christ Jesus in which we are all connected.

Lets look at one another as if we are beholding the face of Jesus.

Karl

 2006/6/16 12:48
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
God's home is not a building, a temple or a synogog or a mosque, it's MAN.

[u]Shut 'em all down[/u], and let the glory of God rest in the new man, Christ Jesus in which we are all connected.



I heard this said a lot the last few years. The problem with it is that in order for folk to come together to be discipled there has to be some sort of facility to pull it off. We had been in a church basement as part of our street outreach and were put out due to building problems. Now we have to struggle to get the people together (they are mostly homeless) to try to minister to them. There is no where to sit down and its hot and miserable for many of them. I'll take a facility any time to disciple folk in and teach them the word. :-)

We also have a problem with housing the many children that are starting to come in for ministry. They come from many parts of the city and its necessary to have them together as a group. We need facilities for them also.

One of the main reasons why it 'appears' that folk are leaving the church or that things are dying off is that those who are able are not willing to step up and minister and help in the Harvest. Those who are willing to come and fill the Church require assistance and care. They require effort and energy. They require love and patiance. They can't pay the bills. I know right now places that want me to come and I can't do it, because I am stretched so thin already. Elderly ministry, childrens ministry, etc. Its 'pure religion', but not often exercised.

Any church fellowship willing and able to put forth the effort could compel folk in and help them in to hear the Gospel. A sort of 'threshing floor' (if you will). Not lots of programs to keep people entertained, but real ministry. Many will choose not to return, but then you just keep harvesting and allowing God to sort them and sift the chaff from the wheat.

Its all a matter of getting into our place and being faithful. With a congregation of 1 or 1000, we should be content to do the Lord's will. Passages of scripture like James 1 give us general direction on where to go and what to do. We just have to 'go'. Folk for some reason just stopped 'going'... but God didn't quit sending.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/6/16 13:20Profile





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