Matt grew up in the Episcopal Church. One Sunday he appeared at the altar—with his arms crossed over his chest.
On the radio last week, I heard a police officer being interviewed about the shootings in his town of Roseberg, Oregon. He said something like, “We’re just in shock. Things like this always happen somewhere else, not in a town like ours.” I was surprised to hear this. I take it for granted that, someday, a public shooting is going to happen in a town, school, or church near me, maybe at a time when I happen to be there.
Muslims have been in our town for a while, but the mosque is new. Last spring our church paid a call on our neighbors there.
I often think I hear colleagues asking, “How could we attract nuns to our church?” Actually they’re talking about “the nones,” of course. One of the clearest findings of the Pew Forum’s new religious landscape study is that fewer and fewer people have any religious affiliation at all. Catholics and mainline Protestants show the biggest drop. I feel pretty conflicted about all of this.
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