Three times in the past six years, our pastor has acted out a small drama during his weekly sermon. “This is not the church,” he’ll say, crossing his arms over his chest. Then, unclenching and spreading his arms wide, “This is the church.” Each reenactment of this open and welcoming gesture strikes me as the kind of message people need to hear, outside as well as inside our stained-glass windows.
Yet record numbers of Americans have quit going to church. Studies and personal stories describe people either leaving churches or just drifting away for reasons like being too busy or disagreeing on social issues.
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