Rethink our congregations

Here is a great article from Alban Institute. Craving Communities. Speaks of our need to belong to a claiming community rather than a church that is impersonal and unconnected.

One thing that has become crystal clear to me is that men and women are looking for *communities*, not congregations. Most people care very little about denominational labels or theology. Some don’t even care about the institution of religion itself (I know some individuals who actually belong to two or more different congregations of different faiths and move with ease between their respective worship services and programs).

The icons, symbols, and images of the past no longer hold power for this new generation of Americans. Some of the largest and most dynamic megachurches, for example, do not even have crosses in their facilities, let alone fixed pews or pulpits. What people seem to crave is a sense of community, a feeling of being wanted and known.

Ultimately, we want to be loved, and to find protection through that love.

I believe that we need to rethink our congregations today less as houses of worship than as sanctuaries in the true, etymological meaning of the word�a place of safety and security. These are troubling times, and offering Americans a safe haven amidst the maelstrom around us is a very appealing gift. A sanctuary is different from a church or a synagogue. A sanctuary is not about symbols, rituals, sacred texts, or holy days�it is more about, as the Jewish evening liturgy states, being �guarded under the shelter of Your wings.� We have a military to guard our bodies. Who will protect our souls?

Please read more if you are interested here
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