Is God sending a message to a mainline Protestant church when the ceiling collapses during Sunday services, injuring more than a dozen pew occupants?
-- From "Congregations struggle in aging, decaying churches" by Tom Breen, Associated Press 7/14/10
Caring for old church facilities is an increasingly acute problem, particularly for mainline Protestant denominations. As membership declines and budgets shrink, the beautiful edifices of American Christianity can feel like weights dragging down churches that are forced to spend money on maintenance and repairs instead of ministry, charity and other Gospel-derived imperatives.
. . . decline in fortune is mirrored among Protestant denominations like the [ELCA] Lutherans, [PCUSA] Presbyterians and [ECUSA] Episcopalians, [United Methodists, and United Church of Christ,] which have seen membership drop in recent decades while the average age of remaining worshippers gets older.
"A lot of these churches have shrunk from 500 members to 100 members, or from 800 members to 200 members," said Robert Jaeger, executive director of the Partnership for Sacred Places. "They look at the trend lines and they see the decline in membership and wonder, 'Gosh, in 10 or 15 years are we going to be gone?'"
To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.