Monday, January 7, 2013

The Point, Again

I started this blog six months ago with the goal of naming the networks that represent the future of religion;  to build a "church", a spiritual community, for people who look forward to the 21st century. To do that I have reflected on current events in the news, and followed arcs regarding major topics (money, compassion, prayer, ritual, etc.).

I have also written for another website, PolicyMic, where a recent article has attracted the warmest active forum that I have ever seen online. I think the overwhelming response to that article shows that folks really do care about the future of religion in the 21st century.

Some people care because they used to belong and are looking for a new spiritual community. Others care because what happens to religion has implications for the world as a whole, and they hope we can shepherd religion away from extremism. Very few care because they organize or are in a traditional religious community.

More than any other group, Millennials (those born after 1982) are not participating in religious organizations: we’re not attending church services and not praying regularly. Does this mean we’re a generation of ruined heathens? No.

The Point:
The goal of this blog has been to re-imagine faith and religious experience in the 21st century, looking forward with the help of statistics, interviews, and current events. I've solidified a few points:

1) Discard the strict hierarchy, insofar as it prevents some from full community.
2) Discard our nostalgia so that we are free to evolve as a group.
3) Discard the judgment that often precedes empathy, comfort, and loving relationships, which are the cornerstones of community.

1) Preserve a sense of ritual, remember to recognize the specialness (sacredness) of particular events in our lives so that we can share that specialness together.
2) Preserve serious study and expertise in theology, including sacred texts. This also means the recognition and promotion of leaders to inspire and guide communities.
3) Preserve prayer, both public and private, because communication is the hallmark of the 21st century, and we can do it together.

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