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Re: [HoB/D] Why hasn't ECUSA grown?



> IMO, there are quite a few reasons for ECUSA's drop-off in membership since
> the mid-1960s (which is paralleled by similar trends in the other mainline US
> denominations)....

Another is the secularization of the United States and the diminished
cache for being associated with religion.

Most churches were packed in Alabama when I grew up there in the 40s
and 50s.  You could not hope to sell shoes, cars, insurance... or even
get patients or other clients if you were not seen at one of the local
churches on a fairly regular basis.  (Some joined TEC because it was
rigorous about only two services at year, and would let you drink as
well.)   A teacher would risk ostracism or worse if not in attendance,
especially in Tennessee where I went to prep school, not many miles
from the town that successfully prosecuted Scopes.

I was confirmed at 25 in 1961.  When I taught in England four years
later, 1965-66, I found it refreshing to be part of a leaner,
Gideonized, more intentional church, where more came as disciples than
out of civic duty.  There was no cache to being at church, and in much
of academia in the USA today, many do not veil well their pity that a
colleague could still be caught up in what they view as a closed
minded, sometimes even oppressive community.  Many associate
Christianity with the televangelists, their major exposure outside of 
weddings and funerals.

L.

Lutibelle/Louie, L2 Newark, Member of Executive Council

   "I often wonder how many Christians decided NOT to face the lions!"
               -- Bobette Pestana <bobette@ibisnet.net>




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