The role of church in today's world—and how it can last as society changes—will be among the timely topics for discussion at Trinity United Church (360 Reid Street) in its Lecture Series November 1st to 2nd celebrating Trinity's 142nd anniversary in Peterborough.
The topic for Nora Sanders, General Secretary, General Council, United Church of Canada on Saturday, November 1st is "Where Two or Three are Gathered...We are Church." Sanders envisions a future where church may have many faces: "In this time of great societal change, the wisdom of scripture continues to speak in new ways to new generations," she says. Her talk will be followed by a workshop offering participants an opportunity to get to the heart of what church means to them—beyond the buildings.
David Wilson, Editor of The United Church Observer, will be service leader on Sunday, November 2nd for a talk called "Communities of Hope". Wilson says, "The future of churches will depend on their capacity to acknowledge and adapt to changing realities in the church itself and in society as a whole." Churches face some difficult realities "but there are genuine reasons to be hopeful," he adds.
With United Church of Canada statistics showing some congregations disbanding and indications some members see a continuing decline, there is a potential for a number of empty churches.
For his part, Wilson believes churches still have a vital role to play in their communities. "How much of a role they will play in future depends on whether congregations can shift their thinking away from the past and instead commit to re-inventing themselves for the future," he says. "I'm convinced that congregations already have the tools they need. The question is: do they have the will to use them?"