Rev. Ronald K. Johnson is a retired parish pastor.
There are signs that all is not well with the Christian Church in North America. Among the signs often mentioned are these. First, institutional strength is in decline. Virtually all mainline denominations are experiencing membership loss and financial struggle. Second, the influence of the church seems to be less robust. Congregations were once often the center of community life and their voice a significant force in social discourse. This appears to be less true today. Third, a declining percentage of people identify with the Christian faith tradition. Polls suggest that an increasingly large portion of the population does not see much purpose in the church or has become disillusioned. Karen Bloomquist, a parish pastor, theological professor, scholar and church leader, in Seeing-Remembering-Connecting, offers an extremely helpful analysis and proposal for any congregation wishing to be faithfully engaged in the social order, which is to say, the place we live out our lives.