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View Diary: Two (more) Reasons People Won't Flock to Church (68 comments)

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  •  Who goes to church? (8+ / 0-)

    Forty to fifty percent of Americans say they do.

    From wikipedia

    "Church attendance data in the U.S. has been checked against actual values using two different techniques. The true figures show that only about 21% of Americans and 10% of Canadians actually go to church one or more times a week. Many Americans and Canadians tell pollsters that they have gone to church even though they have not. Whether this happens in other countries, with different cultures, is difficult to predict."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:08:05 AM PST

    •  Well, I go to church. Of course, I'm paid to be (6+ / 0-)

      there. But I'd go even if I were not.

      NPR recently did a story on church attendance and the data you provided above. No one, especially in the South, wants to tell a stranger taking a poll that they really don't go that often. So we must take that data of forty to fifty percent with a grain of salt, as you point out.

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:15:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Every summer at my previous church the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, Remediator, BoxerDave

        minisiter would return from his 2 week vacation and say those polls saying 40% of Americans attend church are wrong, as he would see WAY more people staying home on Sunday than that.

        **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

        by glorificus on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:06:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here in Maine, we have 17 Summer Chapels (4+ / 0-)

          in our diocese. Interestingly, people who do not normally go to church (or who are not even Episcopalians) attend these services during the summer--many of them are summer residents only anyway.

          Last Summer I had the honor of being asked to be the organist for St. Cuthbert's Summer Chapel, which is the only one of the 17 which is located on an island which is only accessible by boat. The summer colony on that island was started by Bishop Codman and some other clergy at the end of the 19th century, and as a result many of the residents are at least nominal Episcopalians. Most of them, however, are not churchgoers during the year but are during the Summer.

          I tell this to illustrate that while I believe that the numbers of regular churchgoers in this country is, in fact, wildly inflated, there are lots of people who are irregular churchgoers, like the ones who attend St. Cuthbert's.

          I'll add that the salary they paid me for the summer was obscene in its generosity.

          What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

          by commonmass on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:12:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  As a former christian (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, BoxerDave, lexalou, RUNDOWN, Chi

      I have worked in multiple churches as well as being a session member for almost 20 of my 30 yrs as participating christian.  The reality of a poll does not reflect the reality of the congregations.
      The last church- before I gave up on the mythology - had about 200 on the books - regular attendance was about 50 and maybe 30 who came occasionally.  However, the twice a year christians stuffed the sanctuary - twice a year.

      BTW - I left the church 5 years ago and I'm still on the books!

      •  So you were a Presbyterian. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenPA

        It pains me to know that so many churches stop at the mythology and legends and never get deeper into the message. There is much more to those myths and legends than what you can glean on the surface. Sadly, that is where most people stop.

        What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

        by commonmass on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:16:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          If mythology and story-telling has any value at all beyond entertainment it's in real-word meaning.  It's like someone who reads Aesop's fables and comes away with messages like "animals can talk" and "foxes eat grapes" instead of the real human lessons that can be learned from these fantastic stories.

          Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

          by GreenPA on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:31:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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