Sometimes I think about where I will choose to worship after my time in the pulpit is done. I’ve preached nearly every Sunday of my adult life. I took a call as a pastor of a little church my first year in graduate school in 2005 and have had been the preaching pastor of a church ever since. My rough estimate is that I’ve preached 900 sermons in my life.
I am looking forward to not doing that at some point in the near future. But I still want to be part of congregational worship. The data tells me that I need to keep that as part of my life. So, where will I go? I might end up sitting with my wife at Mass on most weekends. She comes from an Irish Catholic family. Both my boys were baptized and confirmed in the Church. I like being there for a bunch of reasons. I won’t ever convert (for a bunch of a reasons), but I have lots of warm feelings about Catholicism.
But, the Catholic Church, like most of organized religion in the United States is in trouble. I don’t think that the problem is as acute among Catholics as it is among other groups like mainline Protestants, but that doesn’t mean that the “check engine” light is not flashing on the dashboard right now for the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. The pews are emptying and the share of Catholics is beginning to show its first signs of real decline in the survey data.
Continue reading at Graphs About Religion