FLOTSAM & JETSAM: One way to revive churches

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

One way to revive churches

Sam Smith - As a 7th Day Agnostic I don't spend much time in churches, but back in the 1960s that wasn't true. I had about a half dozen friends who were priests or ministers. We seldom discussed matters of faith. We were too busy working on the real life issues around us. Church basements were the typical locale we had in common. That's where the DC statehood  movement got started and where some of the ultimately successful anti-freeway meetings were held. 

Churches these days are losing parishioners and their ministers are leery of getting involved in matters  that might annoy the ones they have, but they could help revive themselves by becoming centers for discussion of key moral or philosophical issues affecting their town  .The media and academia are doing a lousy job with this these days, and its one of the reasons for the rise of the radical right. 

For example, if the public school system doesn't want to teach real American history or civics, a local church could hold seminars for adults or classes for the young. Or how about a discussion of poverty in the church's city or how to improve ethnic relations? There is much that the public would like to learn more about but isn't hearing. 

In other words, churches could leave the articles of faith upstairs with their congregation but in their public spaces provide their communities with the sort of knowledge and discussion of moral issues they won't find on CNN.