The History of DeclineBetween 1961 and 2001…• the United Church of Canada (UCC) fell from 1.04 million to 638,000, a loss of 39 per cent.• Anglican membership plunged from 1.36 million to 642,000 - a decline of 53 per cent. Keith McKerracher, a retired marketing expert
The Future?Bishop Drainville: TheAnglican diocese ofQuebec is “teetering “If trends in the Unitedon the verge of Church continue…onlyextinction”. Quebec about 50,000 memberscongregations (50 of will be standing by to82) virtually have no blow out the candleschildren, 35 had on its 125th birthday.” David Haskell, Wilfred Laurier, Hamiltonparishioners with an Spectator, 2005average age of 75 andusually had only 8 to10 people attendingSunday services. AnglicanJournal, December 1, 2009.
The United Church of Canada2010 Observer Survey…• More than 1/3 say congregations are not financially healthy• 46% say their church is shrinking• More than ½ do not expect to last 15 years• 24% give their congregations a 5 year life
Is this the New Reality?Old New• Born into the • Children no longer Christian tradition accept the tradition• Grew up in • Individual search for incorporating the value, meaning, basis of faith and its identity practices and • Majority… may have a observances religious background, but no longer practice
Spiritual Meaning - sources • Family • Religion • Law • Government • Education • Healthcare
A New Era in the Church?Old Religion New Spirituality• Dualism – church and • Outside the traditional the world church• Missions • Not outside God or• Worship is devotional the spirit• Expression - outward • God cannot be contained • Expression - inward
Changing TimesThe communitymay lose itstaste forformallyexpressedreligion, but thespiritual thirstremains.
Preserve the tradition… “We believe that worship and the Eucharist are central to Anglican self- understanding. It is this worship and awe that propels us to reach out to others with the Gospel of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.” Rev. Doug Stout The Queen’s visit. Lorna Dueck, Globe and Mail, Tuesday, Jul. 06, 2010
Or, move forward… Religion needs to reach into itself to reveal the spirituality that is the basis of its light and wisdom.
Spirituality defined… …an awareness of relationships with all creation, an appreciation of presence and purpose that includes a sense of meaning. (Fitchett & Handzo, 1998).
What can the church dolooking forward? 1. Nature 2. Language 3. Community
Nature and Spiritual Renewal A new awareness of nature Climate change Preservation of lands and species Politics of nature
Language and SpiritualRenewal• Salvation • Reconnection• Stories – creation • Dynamic whole• One God • Universe is ONE• Original sin • Consumer dreams• Conversion • New thirst
Community and SpiritualRenewal • Relationships • Responsibility • Cooperation • Connectivity • Common search