Saturday, November 12, 2016

I follow a number of Facebook pages from churches, some near and some far. Not only because they remind me to "Fall Back" or "Spring Ahead" (especially "Spring Ahead") a couple of times a year so I don't miss church the next day. 'Though that is helpful.

Rather, I follow them because I am interested in how they go about differentiating themselves from other churches and attracting new members. It's an unenviable endeavor; they are eternally hopeful folks.

One of my friends during high school has been away from the church of her youth so long she probably doesn't even consciously remember it. She still lives in roughly the same area we grew up. Like most areas, churches there have been merged or closed. Decades ago, my friend joined up with a church that meets in a former movie theater. I visited the church with her on a couple of occasions, most recently last month.

Her pastor announced their acquisition of a former Catholic church nearby. The first service is tomorrow.

I find this interesting. Remember, I'm fascinated at how churches differentiate themselves and attract new members. The pastor's intention is to retain the original name and offer communion every Sunday. In the video he gestures in the sign of the cross, maybe without even realizing it:

It's just my suspicion that the church is trying to satisfy former Catholics who have a yearning for the aesthetics of Catholicism without church discipline or to attract current Catholics who can't be bothered traveling across town. Those who mistake this for that and conclude, "This is close enough."

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