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Does the Church have a future?

Does the Church have a future?

Diana Butler Bass talks about the direction of the church in an uncertain age. In this video she explains the premise of her new book, Christianity After Religion.


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Scott Lybrand

I’m 31, and I am convinced that the church has a future. I’m also convinced that the church of the future will look very different from the church of 1950, and I thank God for that.

Losing our privileged place in society may well be the best thing that’s happened to the church in the last 1000 years. Maybe Christians can start to learn how to engage the world humbly, but with the quiet confidence of a people who have come to know a God who changes everything.

barbara snyder

Condolences on your losses, Marylin. I know the feeling of being in a church environment with which I couldn’t identify, and also feeling a painful lack of support in the middle of troubled times.

One thing that does seem to help in these situations – at least, it did me – is to get involved in a prayer or meditation group. There are local Contemplative/Centering Prayer groups that draw people from all faith backgrounds, and there might be one in your area. (I also got to feel quite close with people in my EFM group; there are online groups as well. But EFM is quite a time commitment, and it’s not free.)

Blessings, and best of luck.

Marylin Raisch

I look forward to this book. As a lifelong Episcopalian but new to the suburban world of America (I previously lived right in cities), I find that this new situation and my exploration of meditation and, intellectually of Buddhism has changed things for me. My experience in the church after leaving New York City has been odd and puzzling. I no longer walk into quiet and loving potential friends at church. Now on my second parish in six years, I find no one to talk to much and the feeling that I am in more of a social club. I am not in the demographic that the church wants right now. There are too many of us middle aged women. But I’ve lost my brother and a father, all without any real ability to gain support or give it in a community. What is happening to Christianity. Am I not living it well? I do want social justice and in a UnityWalk911 context there was a way to contribute. But after initial visits to parishes, I find no one is particularly trying to welcome or to be still together. I do not mean to be harsh. I am shy personally, but the kind of greeting and atmosphere in non-Christian circles can be better. The future feels more contemplative. The first comment I see above does look attractive to me.


Barbara? I meant Diana.

Preview? What is it good for?

June Butler


I agree with Barbara, and I have placed her book on my wish list. People are hungry for God, hungry for fellowship, but in this uncertain age, the church will need to work out ways of going out to where people are, rather than placing the entire focus on getting people to come into our buildings. I’m not at all suggesting that the church abandon services in the buildings. I see going out to the people as an addition to in-church services. Who knows but that some of the folks out there might one day come into the building, but the goal should be to serve folks outside the buildings by providing worship and proclamation of the Gospel for them in a community, however temporary the gathering may be.

June Butler

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