Ah, Sunday afternoons! Following the dictates of Holy Mother Church to rest (not just participate in the Eucharist to observe Sunday) it’s almost always time for me to take a nap. And rest and re-creation often can involve a little reading of religion blogs, too. Here’s a couple I read, today, that I’d suggest to my readers. Both are from the CNN Belief Blog.
First, I was drawn to the title of the blog mention below because we often have discussions at our pastoral council meetings about why people, especially the 20 and 30 somethings, don’t seem to be in the pews. Perhaps the author Rachel Held Evens, a woman from the evangelical branch of Christianity has an insight our parish needs to hear and I will share with its leadership. Parishioners sometimes tell me we need to change our worship style, make it more like the churches people seem to be drifting to, with “praise bands” and family friendly amenities and coffee bars, but Ms. Evens’ opinion is more in line with what I’ve been thinking. People really don’t want the desert, they’re looking for the main course, so to speak.
Then there is the opinion piece by the Rev. James Martin, S.J. on what might be called the Pope Francis effect. I was mesmerized by video I would occasionally catch of the Pope’s visit to World Youth Day in Brazil. He certainly is charismatic and people seem drawn to him, especially the youth who are responding to him and his message. While holding to the traditional and orthodox teaching of the Church, Pope Francis is challenging the clergy and people in the pews to re-image how we present the Gospel, I think. Father Martin says it better than I do.
Both are worth a read, even if it’s not Sunday afternoon.