Dr. Nancy Ammerman… Professor of Sociology of Religion from Boston University’s School of Theology presented an insightful and thought-provoking look at how the religious, cultural and sociological landscape in the United States is impacting religious leadership.
Three particularly intriguing factors that she elaborated on revolved around these shifting elements in American life:
- Geographical mobility… primarily related to the fluidity of jobs.
- How relationships are formed differently today… for example, the impact of social media… which also translates into how people choose churches differently too.
- Increasing multicultural diversity in the population… which begs us to ask the question… Who are “we” today?
In the talk about who is coming to church these days and who is not, she laid out some profound one-line sentences.
Local congregations are more important than ever.
Participation in religious activities matters.
Attendance makes a difference.
Conversations are huge.
Lay ecclesial ministry is essential.
Challenges and Questions
After the keynote, I posed some questions and started rolling the video…
- What are the most significant challenges facing lay ecclesial ministry in this post-modern landscape?
- What issues or questions do you think need immediate attention?
Listen to these ladies as we chatted… their conversation is deep and their wisdom regarding multicultural ministry enlightening. Our talk went late into the evening as the sun went down but take time to listen to each part and you will hear some amazing thoughts and ideas.
First, we hear from Teri Nuval from the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Asian Catholics; then Sr. Joelle Aflague, SSND, Pastoral Assistant for Outreach from St. Joseph’s Parish in Vancouver, Washington; and Cecile Motus from the USCCB Secretariat for Cultural Diversity.
Part 1: Culture makes a difference.
Part 2: Leaders should be chosen by the people.
Part 3: Formation is the key issue now.
Part 4: Invite us… then be mentors.