Join the conversation: your two cents

When I began this blog, much of my motivation was to expand the conversation about Millennials in the Church (and, specifically, Millennials in the Episcopal Church).

To some extent, I’ve begun doing this—I’ve heard from readers, those I have and haven’t met in person, people I knew or didn’t before I launched the blog; I’ve had interesting conversations on and off the blog; I’ve involved myself in comment-thread discussions on other blogs, and even wrote my first guest post.

Now I’m the one asking for guest writers. To further the reach of this important conversation, I need your help. I want to hear about Millennials in the Church in your words.

So, here are some questions I have. Maybe you can find a fit—are you…

A Millennial in the Episcopal Church—

This is unquestionably an Episcopal-Church-flavored blog, down to the title, and I’m interested in hearing from my fellow Episcopalians.

  • Why TEC?
  • Are you a cradle Episcopalian or did you migrate from another tradition?
  • What is it about TEC that has welcomed you or appealed to you or made you feel alive and alert to God’s presence?
  • Why now? How is TEC, a mainline denomination, relevant to you?
  • What do you hope for in the Church’s/TEC’s future?
  • In what ways do you see the Church changing, and what is your role in that change?

A churched Millennial—

Episcotheque and all, I’m for ecumenism, and thanks to my upbringing and place-in-life, many—even most—of my churched friends are non-TEC. I want to hear from any/all of you, on any/all of the issues and questions I’ve already mentioned.

  • Why are you (still) in church?
  • What is your church experience like?
  • Why is church/religion important today?
  • What are your hopes for the future of the Church, and how do you hope to enact or influence that future?

An unchurched Millennial—

This blog isn’t only for churchgoers. Many my age don’t attend church, at least not regularly. I’d also like to hear from those of you who don’t have a church home.

  • If you’re not going to church, why not?
  • What (if anything) might bring you back, or bring you there?
  • What do you see as the purpose of church, and how is this purpose accomplished (or not)?
  • Have you tried to find a church (with or without success)? What was that experience like?

Someone who cares about Millennials, Episcopalian or not—

I’m a Millennial, but many of my friends and acquaintances are not, and I’d like them to be part of this conversation, too. So if you’re not a Millennial, but still like spending time with us (as you should; Millennials are fun!), I’d like to hear from you, too.

  • How do you perceive the Millennial generation?
  • What are your thoughts about the future of the Church? What do you think it will look like?
  • How do you see Millennials participating in this future?

Anyone—

Don’t feel like you fit in any of the other categories? I still want to hear from you! Categories can be limiting, especially for those of you who aren’t as fond as I am of organization and structure. If none of the questions I’ve posed interest you, answer a question of your own. Check out my posts on the Barna group reports (this one and this one), and address any of those points raised. Bring up anything you think is worth discussing. You are all part of this conversation, and all have something to contribute.

You can write a post by yourself, or you can co-write a post with a friend, colleague, significant other, etc. You can submit a written post, a video, a series of photos—or anything that comes to mind. Be creative! Nothing is too zany or out-of-the-box.

I’m looking for focused, concise posts; try to maintain a 750-word limit. Tell your story, but just tell one—don’t try to fit your whole life into a single post. Send along any links or photographs you might want to include, as well as a brief bio.

Would you be willing to contribute? Email me with your suggestions or contributions at episcotheque [at] gmail [dot] com.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “Join the conversation: your two cents

  1. I guess I’m more of a lumper than a splitter. As someone who has worked directly with the 18-22 cohort for the past 20-odd years, I perceive the Millennial generation as developmentally on par with any group that age from any generation. New technology, new connectedness, new social/global consciousness, yes. New kinds of human beings, no.

    For example, social media amount to a virtual container for social entities the size, scope and function of those that have been around as long as our species. What is different after having left our foraging/agricultural villages and then returned to them in digital form, is about the experience in between. Regardless of individuals’ relative cognitive development and social identification (whether there are ‘thems’ and ‘usses’ of various sizes and configurations, or a planet full of ‘usses’), everyone still has to deal with the effects of mutual global encounter on one or more levels as never before.

    What does this mean for the Church? I do not have a single ‘what I think the church will look like’ vision, because I think we are headed in a couple of different directions. The Church in the global South looks to be adopting forms of Christianity and related attitudes that characterized the North over the past couple of centuries. This is in keeping, for better or worse, with the emerging material and mental macro-culture.

    In the wealthy, industrialized part of the world, Christianity will either evolve or be more completely replaced with sundry non-/approaches. The vision I do have is what I hope the Church will become. That would include theologies of greater universalism, and of unity between the natural universe and the noosphere wherein dwells what is experienced as ‘the spiritual’ (no dualisms, Cartesian or otherwise—incarnation anyone?), and rituals stressing contemplative practices over propitiation, dominion, membership—dynamic processes over states and products. These issues cut to the very quick as regards authenticity in context of the rising watermark (however glacial its movement) of human consciousness.

    Maybe my view is colored by present realities, but I see Millennials becoming this, opposing it tooth-and-nail, and checking out, in roughly equal numbers. But if the past year has illustrated anything, it is that critical masses and tipping points have a way of emerging, seemingly out of thin air. What is to come will hardly happen to or through a single generation, but I think Millennials are sure to move the marker just a bit farther along that long, long arc of the universe.

  2. Oops. I guess I was supposed to e-mail it. At least I had stayed within the word limit once I noticed that, too. 😛 I’ve always had trouble with reading the directions.

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