Ramadan's changing times: 8-18-09
Birthing three theologians: 8-20-09

Young Catholics today: 8-19-09

Young Catholics

Almost every faith community worries at least a little about how to find ways to engage young people and attract (or keep) them as members.

My friend Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter has been wandering the country this year talking with lots of people about what the emerging Catholic Church looks like. In this report, he focuses on the church's effort to hold on to younger members. (The link I've given you also will take you to previously published parts of Tom's series. The photo here today, by the way, shows Pope Benedict XVI speaking to young Catholics in Yonkers, N.Y., on his trip to the U.S. last year.)

Tom draws on some of the concepts inherent in the "Emergent Church Movement," about which I've written several times and he seeks to see how that movement is relevant to Catholicism today. One characteristic of the Emergent (or Emerging) Church Movement that seems fairly widespread is the idea that one should seek to follow Jesus and not worry so much about what the institutional church looks like.

That, as you might imagine, is a bit more difficult a concept to live out in the Catholic Church with its hierarchical polity. But many of the young people to whom Tom spoke seem to be finding ways to accomplish that. That is, they seem to be focused on a healthy parish life and how they fit into that rather than being consumed by all the controversial issues burning within the church.

In some ways, I think we Christians make church too complicated. Most people simply want reasons to hope and a place in which to do that with encouragement from other people. At its best, the church provides exactly that. At its worst, it distracts people from hope and from being present with others who need help and hope.

* * *

GOD, R U LISTENING?

Well, it's happened. You now can send a Tweet to God on Twitter. A Tel Aviv resident will print out your Tweets and take them to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Sort of makes you wonder what might be wrong with bowing your head and praying directly to God. Well, maybe high-tech prayers intrigue the Almighty.

Comments

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

New Bible Study at Church with Atheists - This coming Tuesday, August 25th 7:30 p.m.

Please, e-mail iggykc@gmail.com for address. It will be e-mailed to you.

adam harrison

Cole, you calling US creepy is hilarious, when you run around with a guy who says things like Iggy does.

Talk about creepy! Look in mirror! LOL!

But I certainly don't think of you as enemies; you are projecting. You think believers are your enemies, as shown by the way you talk about them.

We are well aware of what your buddy would like to do to us.

You came on this blog to ATTACK, and when we respond you squeal like a stuck pig!

And I haven't given any made up numbers...100 million dead is a FACT.

That you dismiss it with a statistical argument demonstrates your corruption.

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Cole,

I think our "dynamic duo" of adamh/Will Graham must be a descentant of this person - http://www.hulu.com/watch/19280/saturday-night-live-debbie-downer-birthday-party

Will Graham

What are you going on about Cole? No one has contacted you.

And what do you mean no one has invited us to the Bible Studies? Are you really that nuts? Iggy has. Repeatedly.

Only one catch.

He won't say where they are!

Which means either:

1. He is afraid to be confronted for real debate.

2. He does not want witnesses to his disruptive tactics.

3. They do not exist.

And why are you suprised when that people are offended when you attack them and call them names?

I guess you don't mind then if I call you an arrogant, self aborbed, moron?

And when did we say we didn't want to discuss religon? YOU and IGGY are the ones who won't discuss!

He just wants to go to bible studies and bitch at pastors wives wearing pants, ripping up bibles, and talk about drinking sperm!

Will Graham

The police are watching this blog.

a.theist

"I guess you don't mind then if I call you an arrogant, self aborbed, moron?"

Be careful, according Bill, Cold will sue you for calling him a moron.

trapblock

The Catholic Church is going to be fine. I mean it's Christs body and bride in this world (how could it not be?). Young (and old) Christians always have and always will respond to the Truth held in it's entirety in the Church.

To quote the Catechism:"The apostles entrusted the sacred deposit of the faith [the depositum fidei; see 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:12-14] contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. 'By adhering to (this heritage) the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread [the Eucharist] and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.'"

There IS a remarkable harmony... over 2,000 years of it. Built on the 'Rock' with the promise that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

The 'concept' if you will is staying close to Christ in the sacraments. Most of us give very little thought to the hierarchy that many people are preoccupied with...

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