For some time now I have considered visiting our many local churches and sharing my observations on this site. I am motivated in part by a curiousity about people and the beliefs that they hold. But I am also somewhat open to the idea of joining a church. I say somewhat because the very idea conflicts with my tendency towards independence. But perhaps I am missing something, and that is what I am setting out to explore.
Now you might be wondering why I have entitled this entry as Religion Tour #2 instead of #1. That is because I visited Grace Lutheran Church last week, where I met Preachrboy, aka Reverend Tom Chryst.
This week I attended St. Paul's Catholic Church on Spring Street in Mount Pleasant. And now it is time for a confession. My mind drifted regularly from the message offered by the priest as I wondered about the future of the church. Though the church was quite full of parishioners, and the church itself very new and fancy, I couldn't help but notice that the vast majority of worshippers were quite old. Without an influx of new members, I wondered how they will survive. I suspect that St. Paul's is not the only church that will need to grapple with this problem.
But my sociological observations did not stop there. In addition to being quite old, the parishioners were all white. I understand that people tend to gather among those whom they are most comfortable with, so I am not in the least surprised by this. In my youth, I attended St. Joseph's Church, against my will. While I am quite far from being a religious scholar, I can safely state that racial segregation is probably not exactly what Jesus had in mind for his followers. So I am left wondering whether people are members of their churches for extra-religious reasons. I have no other explanation for the obvious racial segregation. If people joined churches entirely because of shared beliefs, then I suspect that we would see much less segregation. I hope Preachrboy will be willing to offer his views on this subject.
Next week. A Wiccan ritual sacrifice of a black cat. Stay tuned.