Mainline worries about dearth of young pastors

Fewer than 5 percent under 35
At the end of April, a new TV ad financed by the Episcopal Church will show 30-something Paige Blair of Maine talking casually about how during tough times, church provides her “some solace and perspectives that help me understand, reconcile and forgive.”

She doesn’t think the church “gets everything right,” she goes on to say. “I go because if I didn’t, people would ask me why. After all, I am the priest of this parish.”

Words on the screen then identify Blair as rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in York Harbor, Maine—a church she’s served since 2000. Clergy in other regions will be featured in future versions of the 30-second ad—with the proviso that they are of “Gen-X age,” reported Episcopal News Service.

The TV campaign reflects the escalating concern of mainline church leaders that the paucity of pastors under 35 will have a negative effect on attracting and keeping young-adult churchgoers.


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