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I do not follow Richard Rohr’s daily meditations online, but many people in the community in which I serve, do read Rohr’s reflections every day. I am grateful that often some of these faithful readers forward to me reflections they feel might be particularly pertinent.

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There is a lot of talk these days in some circles about “church decline.” The conversation is not new, nor surprising. But it seems to take on renewed energy as two prominent United Church congregations in the city where I live announce plans to amalgamate their communities.

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Perhaps the proposal at the end of “Why Are People Leaving Church? Pt. 4” seems irresponsible for someone in leadership in the church.

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As I was completing this series of posts, on John Pavlovitz’s understanding of why people are leaving church,  I received an email containing a statement from Lisa Kimball who writes:

I have come to believe that the greatest threat to Christianity in America in the 21st century is not atheism, pluralism, politicization, Nones, Dones, or even sex abuse scandals and hypocrisy, although they are devastating. The greatest existential threat to Christianity is superficiality…

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In an open letter to the church posted May 2019 John Pavlovitz re-visits the question “Why Are People Leaving Church?”

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The remaining three reasons John Pavlovitz gave in 2015 for the exodus from church are challenging and important. Below, with my comments are the three final reasons Pavlovitz believes people are leaving church (again please read his version @ https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/244545-dear-church-heres-people-really-leaving.html)

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John Pavlovitz is the author of a provocative and popular blog called, “Stuff That Needs To Be Said.”

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Those of us who find a place in church, have no position from which to critique anyone for whom church is not a useful formulation.

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As I have pondered the challenge church presents particularly to people who did not grow up with any communal/institutional expression of faith, I have begun to wonder what it really is that keeps so many people so firmly planted outside of church.

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While wanting absolutely to remain sensitive to people for whom church does not work, perhaps, we who find ourselves fed and nourished by this curious practice, should not allow ourselves to be totally preoccupied with those who find spiritual sustenance without the need for any formal religious practice.

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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

Pre-April 2010 posts: http://inaspaciousplace.blogspot.com/

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