samedi, juin 10, 2006
Ain't no cure for the summertime pews?
Last week I received an email from one of the editors at the Philadelphia Inquirer asking me to write an essay for the local opinion page on why the pews empty out during the summertime. This is a question which has bemused clergy for millenia, probably since the advent of paved road allowed the Roman gentry to escape to summer villas. If our laypeople escape in droves, perhaps they imagine that God is going along with them. But "where does God go on summer vacation?" Forgive me my touch of irreverence, but take a minute and imagine Does He rent a condo at the Jersey Shore? Or maybe He appreciates the quiet of the Canadian woods. Could He be hiking in Colorado or hanging out at a cafe in Paris? I asked some clergy friends to share some wisdom on why people flee church in the summer, even when they are at home, and the reasons they give. So far my responses have been exceedingly few. I would love to hear from readers! Do you attend church in the summertime? If not, why not? If so, why? Are there programs the church could offer that would encourage you to attend? What does it feel like to sit in a half-empty church with other parishioners? Do you feel virtuous for showing up? How about you slackers? What are you doing on Sunday mornings that is more exciting than worshipping with your brother and sister Christians (keep it clean, please)? Of course, we know that God is everywhere, but what are your most "divinely infused" places to meet Him during the summer when you aren't in the pew? Thanks for your help!