I went to Church last Sunday went today. The church in Dorset where I was confirmed now has digital screen in the aisles which display the words to the banal nonsense that passes for modern hymns, the reverend is miked up and there is an informality to the service that went past the incompetent into something that seemed close to degrading God.
It was sad to see people who had been at that church when I was a child, being subjected to so much nonsense, even sadder to see that apart from a hardcore of committed tambourine shakers, there were no young people in the church at all. We took communion in the pews because the majority of the congregation would not have been able to kneel at an altar rail (which had been ripped out anyway). Despite its attempts at modernisation, this Methodist Church is dying on its feet.
Today I saw my son participate in an evangelical service in a summer camp set up by his school’s Christian Union. The CU has been in operation for over 100 years and appears to be going strong. What I saw this afternoon impressed, this is a living community that does things for itself and unlike the Methodist Church, appears to be refreshing itself each year.
I’m not linking the success or failure of a Christian community to its capacity to go on-line. But it strikes me that apart from one or two e-mail addresses, the weekly notes for the Methodist church might have been written forty years ago.
By comparison, the Christian community my son is a part of , organises itself as kids organise themselves. It seems to exist on-line and off and is part of these teenager’s day to day world.
It has become a place of comfort for a group of pensioners; -(this I see as good). But what of the 50 somethings like me – will they return to the Church in their sixties or will this Methodist church be then , as so many Methodist chapels are today, a private residence?
Where then will God be found?
I’d be interested to know people’s views on whether God is on-line.
Is the internet an appropriate medium for Christian congregation?
Is the phrase “where two or three are gathered together” as applicable on-line as in physical presence. When I’m (1)64 will I be able to discuss my fear of everlasting damnation in an online chat-room , my body confined to bed?
I display a horrible ignorance here, I’d be surprised if there aren’t Christian groups all over the place who meet through chat rooms and the like to share experience in communion.
The trouble is that I’ve not heard of them, and I suspect most of the people reading this won’t have heard of them.
If the Christian communities in this country and around the world want to reach out, then here is the chance.
The urge to worship a monotheistic being is not extinguished in a generation, it must still exist though you could not guess so when looking at church attendance and the dwindling influence of the Church in public life.
My prediction is that religion will reform, probably is reforming and will reappear in a new guise. For those in the established churches who are prepared to accept this change, this will be a way for them to spread the faith, for those who turn their back on the web and regard my question as irrelevant or sacrilegious, I predict a continuing journey into irrelevance.
- Declining membership, dwindling finances likely to top church agenda (canada.com)
- how to “do” church (danielabouzeid.wordpress.com)
- Why I am an atheist – Kathleen Axe (freethoughtblogs.com)
- Historic church to close doors after 166 years (rep-am.com)
- 8 ways to keep young adults out of your church (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- Contemporary Worship Music: Unintentional Ecumenism (dovetailedlife.wordpress.com)
- Methodist Church of Ghana and partner build SHS for Sakoti Community (ghananewsagency.org)
- Altar Rails and the Holy Mass (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- God’s Heart For Your Increase and Blessing (godhappenings.wordpress.com)