Have you noticed how many churches are for sale these days? In almost every major American city, from Chicago to Seattle to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Brookline, Massachusetts you can buy a church. In fact, everywhere I looked, I found a church for sale.
What’s the story here? Are churches under financial distress? Maybe churchgoers have just migrated to the suburbs. Or perhaps local churches have gone the way of the corner hardware store, replaced by their big-box brethren. We shouldn’t hold on to the past, but I’m not sure if I would feel a little forlorn — or a bit more hopeful! — when setting up my teapot and my TV in a place that had been the site of weddings, funerals, baptisms, confessions, songs, prayers, ritual.