The Grace Brethren Church, Uniontown, Pa. (Roland Maust, pastor), is mentioned in an article in yesterday’s Uniontown Union-Standard about churches being creative in serving their communities. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Local churches innovating as congregants across the country leave
The doors of Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Uniontown’s East End were open on Thanksgiving as community members poured in for dinner and to shop for free at pop-up shops.
The Rev. Vincent Winfey Sr. spent the holiday with his family and church members serving dinner. Others donated clothes, toys, toiletries and jewelry for those in need. The outreach is just one of those hosted by area churches to give back to their communities. Still, congregants across the country are leaving all denominations of religion in record numbers….
The Rev. Bev Roscoe, lead pastor for 14 local United Methodist churches, said there is a “perfect storm within the church” as a whole. In the last 12 years, the 14 Methodist churches have lost about 29 families. Calvary United Methodist Church has about 75 people who attend regularly.
“Our congregations are getting older. Our buildings are getting older. We have less income,” she said. “We have to find ways to continue being the church to the community.”
The churches have three full-time pastors and two part-time lay ministers, saving on expenses, she said. She attributed much of the change in congregation numbers to a cultural shift.
“There was a time that life revolved around church on Sundays. Stores were closed. Businesses were closed,” she said.
Today, many people have responsibilities competing for time on Sundays. Youth sports include games on Sundays, and many people work.
“Church just became another thing thrown into the mix,” she said. “That’s where the onus comes on the church to be more valuable to society. We need to look outside of Sunday morning to show that we have something that can strengthen them throughout the week and make their lives more meaningful.”
The church once had 40 choir members, and now they have about one dozen. That led the church to join with Grace Brethren Church in Uniontown and First Baptist Church in Fairchance for its annual Christmas cantata. Multiple churches also join together for an annual Easter egg hunt. …
Click here to read the complete article.