As a newspaper correspondent, I cover religion, but bear in mind, in a rural area in upstate New York.
Ironically, I’ve noticed very low attendance in, if not complete absence of, Sunday Schools in the denominational churches. Kids however come to the Community or non-denominational churches and participate in the Sunday Schools.
This observation seems to coincide with a 2010 LifeWay survey where nearly two-thirds of pastors (62%) believed the importance of identifying with a denomination will decline over the next decade.
The psychological landscape is shifting from exclusiveness to inclusiveness, creating a culture where the denominating force is serving the faith, as opposed to trying to control the faith.
The word denomination has 2 definitions:
- The act of naming or designating a person or thing. This is a verb. God and God’s healing power was denominated divine Science (or Christian Science) for the sheer reason of being able to talk about it. The book 21st Century Science and Health discusses this faithful power and our ability to understand and apply it in everyday life.
- A body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination. This is a classification, leading down the road of exclusiveness.
I revised the denominational textbook Science and Health and re-established the fact that the book is accessible to people from all different cultures. Readers of 21st Century Science and Health become savvy to the fact that Science and Health was written years before a religious organization was established.
On the job as a reporter, or a revisionist, I find faith is strong and healthy, but in a loving, inclusive God with the ability and willingness to heal and guide.