To begin understanding the challenge facing most mainline congregations in the United States, the following scene from the movie, “Moneyball” is a great introduction (warning: there is a one-word expletive in the scene)
What is the problem in the mainline church? Low attendance? Dwindling finances? Buildings too big and congregations too small? As GM Billy Beane would say, “Wrong!” These are the just the symptoms that many congregations are feeling as a result of a much deeper shift in religious attitudes and practices in the United States. Some scholars believe that Christianity is undergoing a seismic shift not felt since the Reformation. And Emsworth U.P. Church is not alone in feeling the symptoms.
On Sunday, June 29 during worship, the Emsworth congregation heard the results of the New Beginnings assessment, and will soon begin a series of house meetings to discuss the report and its implications for its ministry. To begin the conversation, we watched this broadcast from CBS’ Sunday Morning which discusses the Pew Report on American Religion.
Then we looked at the difference between technical solutions and adaptive change, as well as the specific results from the New Beginnings study for the church:
Our next step is a series of small group “house meetings” which will begin the week of July 13th. The final schedule will be available soon, but will include weeknight, weekday and Sunday times so as many folks can participate as possible.
Keep watching for more information as the summer unfolds. Have questions? Please call Pastor Susan at 412-585-1219 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.