The musings of a traveler on Life's Quest
I don't know anything about the history of your church, but it seems that something happened between 1960 and 1975. Church membership peaked but the number of congregations didn't which would indicate larger and larger congregations. Marriages (which should logically follow with increased membership) and funerals peaked peaked at the same time, and then fell drastically. Professions of faith did not follow the same trend as marriages - perhaps because of the fewer congregations, and lowered Sunday school figures?The church home I grew up with is now a day care, and the churches my great great grandfather established as a circuit preacher are no more. But the simple fact is that the thriving agrarian society these churches blossomed in no longer exists, and the population to support these churches no longer exists either. :(
The peak of Children's stuff (baptisms, Sunday School) and then of Professions of Faith (largely teen confirmations would be my guess and then teh later peak of marriages is largely a result of the Baby Boom. And so, even if we had the same number of young parents as members we will never have teh same number of children.Interesting to note that the decline really began much earlier thtn most people believe. There are still lots of people out there who are convinced that the decline began in the 1980's
Reginald Bibby noted that the decline began after the Second World War, but a spike in membership and activity between 1960 and 1975 probably lulled a lot of people into a false sense of security, a sense that things would always go on this way.
That discussion over on wondercafe is interesting. I'm not a fan of Emerging Spirit (it really has not done what it set out to do), but I also disagree with the writers who want to just close up shop and go back to the Presbyterian church. That's a bit drastic, yes?Change? Of course we need it. It's just a matter of changing faithfully, not desperately.