Epiphany greetings in the Name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!
Recently, I came across an article from The Washington Times entitled, “Losing our Religion: America becoming ‘pagan’ as Christianity cedes to culture.” The article stated, “For the first time ever this year (2019), the Nones are the largest demographic in the U.S., with 23.1% of the population, overtaking the Catholics and the evangelicals…”
The “Nones” are those who are considered with no religious affiliation and includes atheists and agnostics. But according to the article, “the real stunning rise within the “Nones” has been those who don’t so much actively question or reject God, as much as they don’t see a reason to bother with reli-gion. The “Nones” are described as apathetics who don’t attend services, don’t ascribe to any one creed, and often don’t even have much familiarity with the faith world. They account for a bigger share of the US population than the agnostics and atheists combined, and their numbers are growing by millions each year.”
One of the reasons for the rise of “Nones” is the startling drop in spiritual engagements with less time, less knowledge and less relationships. “People are spending less time reading the Bible on their own or even praying. Kids’ sports and just the myriad of activities that schools are offering for kids, and media choices and things like that, that’s a lot of competition for a church and just vying for people’s time and attention.”
As we discern and ponder about this hard reality, God is calling us to constantly live in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:16, Paul encourages the church to be set apart for God. But Paul explained that this couldn’t be achieved through merely obeying a set of rules or guidelines. Instead we’re called to walk with the Holy Spirit. Walking with the Spirit meant journeying with the Spirit each day—it’s not just a one-time experience of His power.
It is the Holy Spirit that will equip our church staff and lay leadership to be bold and intentional in sharing our faith to others. It is the Holy Spirit that will breathe into us the Breath of Life so that we can develop creative and innovative programs and ministries that will bring new and diverse people to Davis Street. And it is the Holy Spirit that will empower our entire congregation to move us from membership to discipleship, engaging and impacting the community for Christ’s sake.
Therefore, empowered by the Holy Spirit, I challenge every member of Davis Street to join with me this year 2020 in doing the following:
● To champion our church mission statement: “To reach out and connect with all people, making disci-ples of Jesus Christ”;
● To be bold and intentional in offering Jesus at every opportunity, inviting the “Nones” to Davis Street, encouraging them to be part of our loving and growing congregation;
● To focus implementing our 2020-2021 Missional Priorities;
● To continue building authentic relationships through small groups, Sunday School classes, interest groups and service opportunities;
● And to pursue community engagement and develop creative and innovative ministries.
-Rev. Edgar De Jesus