Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Endangered Species: Church

One of my colleagues in ministry in the United Methodist Church is Pastor Erika Gara, who pastors in Southern California. She has a great blog called Endangered Species: Church. What a great title for a blog! It reflects perfectly what is a reality: that many churches are in danger of extinction if we don't address very carefully the needs not only of the present generation which dominate church attendance (those over 50, but also, if not more so, the ability to address the needs of the generations which are under 50.

I like Erika's post on Pink Floyd and Psalm 23, on how a professor at Boston University (Peter Hawkins, from whom I was privileged to take courses during seminary - although at a different school than BU) read the 23rd Psalm and asked young people where they had heard of it. Their answers were interesting: few of them knew that it was from the Bible. Check out her blog to learn some of the surprising places this scripture passage shows up:

I also like her post on "Tinkerers," which talks about how younger people like churches which tinker with different approaches and ways of thinking. This can find a lot of resistance among older people, many of whom really like to keep things the way they always were.

I'm grateful that Kailua United Methodist Church, for the most part, has kept an open mind and allowed for experimentation and new ideas.

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