Wild Goose was a weekend of
fun and free spirits, as amateur musicians circled up to play, local beer
flowed, Frisbees soared and people lingered around
campfires. It was also punctuated by moments of intense reflection.
For my sister Mildred’s 50th wedding anniversary, our clan is gathering in Fort Wayne this summer. Happily influenced by my siblings, from whom I keep learning, I dedicate this column to my sister and brother-in-law by detailing for others what our family calls “Mildred’s law.”
It’s a painful irony: congregations in mainline churches—which have long made racial reconciliation one of their highest priorities—are no more racially integrated than other churches, and in fact tend to be somewhat less integrated than independent and theologically conservative churches (see John Dart’s "Hues in the pews").
When Rodney Woo became pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church in Houston in 1992, the all-white congregation averaged 200 worshipers. Faced with a declining membership, and situated in a neigborhood that was changing its racial composition, the congregation set out to invite people of color to church.
May be most diverse mainline Protestant denomination
Aug 25, 2009
The American Baptist Churches USA convention this summer was typical of many church gatherings in displaying ethnic and racial diversity. But many ABC leaders think that their denomination may be the most diverse among mainline Protestant churches.
Probably every churchgoer can say how his or her church is changing or has changed. It is much more difficult to know whether the experience of any particular congregation fits into a larger pattern. We need a bird’s-eye view to answer such questions.