Jennifer Gingerich

I’m picking up on the thread of Laura’s question, what is different now?  It seems like the answers to that are probably multiple and complicated.  I wonder how the changes in people’s relationships to church in recent generations plays into it.  On one hand, the trauma/abuse perpetrated by some in positions of authority in churches has come to light in the last few decades, and while that has led to healing for some, it also alienated others from church.  I have heard from at least two or three individuals who stopped going to church when the stories of abuse started coming out.  While I definitely do not think that church is the only place to find spirituality or community, it does offer connection, nurture, and a spiritual framework as Deanna pointed out.

In part connected to that, there has been the shift in society that made it more acceptable to question institutional religion and not go to church – from baby-boomers through to millenials.  And that has it benefits and downsides.  People feel more free to think for themselves and question pat answers.  But then they do not have as frequent/easy access to the rituals that Baldwin notes can promote healing.  (If, that is, churches do a decent job of caring for those who have been traumatized.)