The chief priests, the tax collectors, and the prostitutes all walk into a bar.
It sounds like the start to a bad joke, right? We’ll get back to that.
This text today reminded me about a continuing education event I went to in Minnesota shortly after starting here at Gloria Dei. The theme was “Religious But Not Spiritual”, as a play on the often uttered, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, “Spiritual But Not Religious. We had three main speakers:
- A sociologist of Religion who studies the social trends of churches, such as their attendance, their giving, and their culture as every church has its own culture.
- A systematic theologian who sits with, studies, and ponders the organized and structured beliefs/teachings of a tradition, such as Lutheranism.
- Nadia Bolz-Weber, a popular ELCA pastor whose gained fame for NOT fitting the typical mold expected of a Lutheran pastor. She is the founder of the House For All Saints and Sinners in Denver Colorado.
I appreciate Nadia Bolz-Weber’s honesty, particularly her emphasis that the goal of the church is (or should be) authenticity.
Our text reminded me of this event because one workshop tried to blend these different perspectives to answer a question that all Mainline Christian denominations are asking:
- Where are the twenty and thirty year olds?
- Where are the young families?
Sounds familiar, right? Read the rest of this entry »