Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The business of church.

I am edging toward some churchgoing in my life... and it's not an easy thing to implement. The going, yes, but the explaining, too, of the decision, and how the Unitarian Universalists are not Christian, even though some are, and how I'm trying to become more proactive in the ol' young liberal commie attitude of "being spiritual." But as an introduction, I have a big concern about the life of churches these days...

Everyone is old! What is going to happen to these church communities when the oldsters pass? This comes to mind for two reasons: 1, going to the downtown UU congregation, where I am a serious age-group minority; 2, working a memorial service at a big Episcopal church in downtown Portland. Lots of elderly folks and holy cow! The guts of that church are crazy! Huge industrial kitchen, two sextons on staff, loads of classrooms, big restrooms to take care of, event after event invitations posted, 12 step meetings going on, and more. Who funds all of that? It's a big business and I know I move in certain circles, but I know hardly anyone who goes to church AND tithes.

But I really like the old church people. And this is a slightly scattered post, but consider it a rough-draft introductory note, and a warning that there may be more Church Chat to come. (And maybe some of this kind too.)


  1. Ooooh! I'm excited for these stories! New experiences always fluff up a ton of new insights and ideas. Bring 'em on!

  2. helps to be tax exempt for starters. Also, the Episcopal church has been around for quite a while and has been an attractor of the upper middle class for that whole time. I would just presume (I don't know) that they probably have a pretty decent endowment after all that time and so a decent chunk of their money comes from living off long term investments. It doesn't hurt to continue to be an attractor for the upper middle class and getting entries on estate planning and the like when said upper middle class leaves this spectral plane but...yeah I don't know. I sure do know a lot of people who tithe to the Episcopal Church, but they are or were all in Santa Barbara. Also, the larger Anglican community is insanely freaking huge mostly thanks to Africa.

  3. I like how Arthur's response is all thoughtful and educational and mine is like, "Ooooh sparkly."