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Churches facilitate social integration

Churches facilitate social integration

Except for football matches churches are one of the few places in the UK where different ages, ethnic groups, and financial situations meet and get to know each other.  Church Times reports the research results:

Churches are among of the few places in the UK that successfully bring people together from different ethnic backgrounds, and from different financial circumstances, new research for the Social Integration Commission suggests.

The commission appointed Ipsos Mori to carry out a study of the social habits of a cross-section of 400 people, aged from 13 to 80. Its survey suggested that attending a place of worship was the most “socially integrating” activity that people could take part in – bringing together people from across the divides of age, income, and ethnicity.

Attending football matches also ranked highly for bringing together people of different ages. The commission said that activities such as attending a place or worship, or a football match, were often seen as “tribal”, but actually helped to encourage mixing between different groups.

Michael Arditti, in his preface to his 2000 novel Easter, wrote, “One of my aims in writing Easter was to paint a comprehensive social portrait of a kind that has largely disappeared from the contemporary novel. Nowhere but the church could I find an institution where all the different classes and racial and sexual groups stood (and sat and knelt) side by side”

Do you see that in US churches? Your church?


Posted by Ann Fontaine

Photo credit: Harriet Evans for Church Times


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Emily Windsor

Sanctions persist.

An obsession with conformity is characteristic of hierarchy out of control of the laity. Okay, let’s >saybelief< in being populated by sinners who constantly need forgiveness, constantly must remind themselves of the Sacrifice God's Son Yeshua, actually made. He gave up everything, although he was an innocent Jew.

Given that, who keeps the Church Law-abiding according to the Holy Laws of God IF "conformity to the world's values" has become the primary criterion for membership or participation or leadership?

Just asking.

Chaz Brooks

“An obsession with conformity is characteristic of hierarchy out of control of the laity.”

This isn’t necessarily true. In fact, I’ve found that the laity tend to greatly dislike too daring a liturgist.

Emily Windsor

Chaz, I realize the laity are lazy, and most have never read a Bible clear through nor studied topic-by-topic. People prefer to participate in a dignified manner habituated, routine, in comfort. Having been baptized and confirmed, they believe that’s enough.

There are different sorts of Christians; and until recently, there was room in the Church for everybody without regard to one’s particular grasp of doctrine. Coming to Church and participating was sufficient to remain “okay” in everybody’s eyes. But I started getting in trouble when I began questioning policies’ effects on real-world Teachings after I got my graduate degree in conflict analysis:

–Calvinism [with some presumed Luciferian derivatives] vs. “salvation by works”; –ideological tolerance vs. threatening civil behavior of hostile and victimized minorities;
–IRS’ 501(c)(3) and what it does to giving;
–political activism around “Diversity” vs. Holy Law and “separation from the world”; –liturgy time vs. testimony time;
–Govt welfare vs. community options in emergencies.

But, the doors kept slamming shut on these hot topics that bias how things work.

I don’t know what the answer is, Chaz; but there has to be “somewhere” we can talk about some of this heavy stuff without automatic sanctions against content per se. Would you agree this far?


Chaz Brooks

I get the feeling this is not as much the case in the United States. Our parishes, especially in the Episcopal Church, seem pretty homogeneous to me.

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