Children of God

Photo by Szilvia Basso on Unsplash
 on April 2, 2024

Zondervan recently released a book entitled, The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back?  

The authors, Jim Davis and Michael Graham, conducted extensive research and concluded that people are no longer attending church because life in the 21st century is so focused on work and individual accomplishment that it leaves little time for mutuality, care or common life. The authors write about how “workism” reigns in North American. Our jobs and professions play such an outsized role in our identity that there is little time or energy left for anything else. This means that community, including religious community, is suffering.  

Interestingly, the authors posit that the answer to this conundrum is for churches to ask more, not less of their members. Churches need to become an antidote to a competitive and individualistic world, and give people real community, real Christianity. Perhaps the great dechurching, or this movement towards so-called secularisation, could be life-giving for the church. Could it help us move away from worldly understandings of success and respectability and towards true Christian communities where people find their true identity? Can church be a place where we remember that we are not our jobs? We are children of God and members of the body of Christ called to love and serve our neighbours.  


I bring up this book as later this month we will be exploring these themes of secularism and our true identity as children of God at our We Together conference. Our keynote speaker for this year’s conference is John Thatamanil.   

I hope you realise what a gift it is that John serves (pro bono) in this role. As you may know, John lives part-time here in Victoria and part-time in New York City, where he teaches theology at Union Theological Seminary. John is a sought-after speaker and has written for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times (not to mention our own Faith Tides). One of John’s major theses is that we are so secular because we have become so captive to capitalism and consumerism that we don’t have enough room left in our psyches for faith and spirituality. He’ll be talking to us about this topic in the morning session at We Together. In the afternoon, he will be offering us some spiritual practices to help re-center us in our true identity as children of God.  

I hope as many of you as possible join us at We Together. Because of our education trust funds we can offer this conference at a very affordable rate, and there are travel subsidies available for those needing to travel to and stay over in Victoria in order to attend. Please see the diocesan website for more information 

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