The End of the Anglican Communion? What does it mean?


The End of the Anglican Communion?

It may finally be at hand, says The Economist. More:

In his latest speech, Archbishop Welby acknowledged for the first time that the Lambeth conference—a once-in-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops—might never happen again. Nor, he made clear, was it even certain whether the basis existed for convening another “primates’ meeting”—a global gathering of slightly lesser status which would normally take place every couple of years. In any case, he was no longer prepared to take sole responsibility for deciding such matters; instead there should be a “collegial model of leadership” with Anglican leaders from around the world deciding which meetings were worthwhile.

Despite all this, the archbishop gallantly insisted, reports of the global club’s death were exaggerated. “The Anglican Communion exists and is flourishing in roughly 165 countries.” That may be sort-of true as far as it goes, but it is rather like the Queen saying that the Commonwealth exists. Of course it does, in the sense that nobody has abolished it, and not many people have left it. But post-imperial arrangements can lose salience very very gradually, to the point where the boundary between existence and non-existence becomes almost imperceptible.

Via Alan Jacobs

Question to Anglican readers: If the Anglican Communion exists in name only, what difference would that make in the daily life of the church? And, in your judgment, is this development to be welcomed, or regretted? Obviously everyone would have preferred a perfect world in which the Anglican Communion could stay together, but what I’m asking is that given the apparently irreconcilable differences between its factions, is the growing recognition that “communion” is a fiction a good thing (because it acknowledges reality) or a bad thing (because acknowledging that reality is a Point of No Return)?

Your thoughts?

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How would you deal with paying a monthly government tax on each child in school? You think sport fees are too high? Check this out.


kd3p8721Syndicated News
ISIS Imposes Education Tax on All Students in Iraq’s Mosul

BAGHDAD — ISIS has announced monthly taxes on students attending schools and colleges in Iraq’s second-largest city, parents and a security official said Wednesday. Iraqi government schools have been state-funded since 1974. But parents in Mosul — which ISIS militants now control — have been told they must pay 25,000 Iraqi dinars (about $21) for every child attending kindergarten, 50,000 dinars ($42) for high-school students and 75,000 dinars ($62.50) for college undergraduates, a mother of three and another father-of-three told NBC News. A senior Iraqi security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also confirmed the taxes had been introduced. “ISIS elements are trying to get funds from different sources in order to run the territories they took over,” the official said.

“This is too much for me,” the mother of three told NBC News by phone. “We are living under very bad financial conditions here in Mosul.” The woman, whose name has been withheld for her own safety, added: “ISIS elements are using different kinds of pressure against us…My husband will have to work more hours to earn this money.

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Analyzing a number of failed presidential terms


Obama and the Nature of Failed Presidencies

WoW with bradyThis seems to me to be the most even handed analysis
I have ever read of what shapes international affair
decisions in final Presidential terms. His reasoning
and way of describing what difficulties besets presidents
who have lost much of their popularity is very clear. 
Republican and Democrat presidents share evenly
in this analysis.
                  Fr. Orthohippo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – 03:01 

Stratfor
We do not normally comment on domestic political affairs unless they affect international affairs. However, it is necessary to consider American political affairs because they are likely to have a particular effect on international relations. We have now entered the final phase of Barack Obama’s presidency, and like those of several other presidents since World War II, it is ending in what we call a state of failure. This is not a judgment on his presidency so much as on the political configuration within it and surrounding it.
The midterm elections are over, and Congress and the president are in gridlock. This in itself is not significant; presidents as popular as Dwight Eisenhower found themselves in this condition. The problem occurs when there is not only an institutional split but also a shift in underlying public opinion against the president. There are many more sophisticated analyses of public opinion on politics, but I have found it useful to use this predictive model.

Analyzing a President’s Strength

I assume that underneath all of the churning, about 40 percent of the electorate is committed to each party. Twenty percent is uncommitted, with half of those being indifferent to the outcome of politics and the other half being genuinely interested and undecided. In most normal conditions, the real battle between the parties — and by presidents — is to hold their own bases and take as much of the center as possible.
So long as a president is fighting for the center, his ability to govern remains intact. Thus, it is normal for a president to have a popularity rating that is less than 60 percent but more than 40 percent. When a president’s popularity rating falls substantially below 40 percent and remains there for an extended period of time, the dynamics of politics shift. The president is no longer battling for the center but is fighting to hold on to his own supporters — and he is failing to do so.
When the president’s support has fragmented to the point that he is fighting to recover his base, I considered that a failed presidency — particularly when Congress is in the hands of the opposition. His energy cannot be directed toward new initiatives. It is directed toward recovering his base. And presidents who have fallen into this condition near the end of their presidencies have not been likely to recover and regain the center.
Historically, when the president’s popularity rating has dipped to about 37 percent, his position has been unrecoverable. This is what happened to George W. Bush in 2006. It happened to Richard Nixon in 1974 when the Watergate crisis resulted in his resignation, and to Lyndon Johnson in 1967 during the Vietnam War. It also happened to Harry Truman in 1951, primarily because of the Korean War, and to Herbert Hoover before World War II because of the Great Depression.
However, this is not the final historical note on a presidency. Truman, enormously unpopular and unable to run for another term, is now widely regarded as one of the finest presidents the United States has had. Nixon, on the other hand, has never recovered. This is not therefore a judgment on Obama’s place in history, but simply on his current political condition. Nor does it take failure to lose the presidency; Jimmy Carter was defeated even though his popularity remained well in the 40s.

Obama’s Presidency

Of the five failed presidencies I’ve cited, one failed over scandal, one over the economy and three over wars — Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Obama’s case is less clear than any. The 40 percent who gravitated to the opposition opposed him for a host of reasons. He lost the center for complex reasons as well. However, looking at the timing of his decline, the only intruding event that might have had that impact was the rise of the Islamic State and a sense, even in his own party, that he did not have an effective response to it. Historically, extended wars that the president did not appear to have a strategy for fighting have been devastating to the presidency. Woodrow Wilson’s war (World War I) was short and successful. Franklin Roosevelt’s war (World War II) was longer, and although it began in failure it became clear that a successful end was conceivable. The Korean, Vietnam and two Iraq wars suffered not from the length, but from the sense that the presidency did not have a war-ending strategy. Obama appears to me to have fallen into the political abyss because after eight years he owned the war and appeared to have no grip on it.
Failure extends to domestic policy as well. The Republican-controlled legislature can pass whatever legislation it likes, but the president retains veto power, and two-thirds of both houses must vote to override. The problem is that given the president’s lack of popularity — and the fact that the presidency, all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for re-election in two years — the president’s allies in Congress are not as willing to be held responsible for upholding his vetoes. Just as few Democrats wanted Obama campaigning for them, so too do few want to join the president in vetoing majority legislation. What broke Truman, Johnson and Nixon was the moment it became clear that their party’s leaders in Congress wanted them gone.

Acting Within Constraints

This does not mean that the president can’t act. It simply means that it is enormously more difficult to act than before. Gerald Ford, replacing Nixon but weakened by the pardoning of his predecessor, could not stop Congress from cutting off aid to South Vietnam during the final Communist assault. George W. Bush was able to launch the surge, but the surge was limited in size, not only because of strategic conditions but also because he had lost the ability to force Congress to fund alternative expansions of the war. In each of the failed presidencies, the president retained the ability to act but was constrained by the twin threats of an opposition-controlled Congress and his own party’s unwillingness to align with him.
At the same time, certain foreign diplomatic initiatives can continue. Nixon initiated negotiations between Egypt and Israel that culminated, under Carter’s administration, in the Camp David Accords. Truman tried to open negotiations with China, and the initiative’s failure had little to do with opposition to a negotiated settlement in Korea.
The president has few domestic options. Whatever Obama does with his power domestically, Congress can vote to cut funding, and if the act is vetoed, the president puts Congressional Democrats in mortal danger. The place where he can act — and this is likely the place Obama is least comfortable acting — is in foreign policy. There, the limited deployment of troops and diplomatic initiatives are possible.
Obama’s general strategy is to withdraw from existing conflicts in the Middle East and contain and limit Russian actions in Ukraine. The president has the ability to bring military and other pressure to bear. But the United States’ opponent is aware that the sitting president is no longer in control of Washington, that he has a specific date of termination and that the more unpopular things he does, the more likely his successor is to repudiate them. Therefore, in the China-North Korea model, the assumption is that that continuing the conflict and negotiating with the successor president is rational. In the same sense, Iran chose to wait for the election of Ronald Reagan rather than deal with Jimmy Carter (who was not a failed president).
This model depends on the opponent’s having the resources and the political will to continue the conflict in order to bargain with the president’s successor, and assumes that the successor will be more malleable. This is frequently the result, since the successor can make concessions more readily than his predecessor. In fact, he can make those concessions and gain points by blaming the need to concede on his predecessor. Ironically, Obama used this strategy after replacing George W. Bush. The failed president frequently tries to entice negotiation by increasing the military pressure on the enemy. Truman, Johnson and George W. Bush all took this path while seeking to end their wars. In no case did it work, but they had little to lose politically by trying.
Therefore, if we follow historical patterns, Obama will now proceed slowly and ineffectively to increase military operations in Syria and Iraq, while raising non-military pressure on Russia, or potentially initiating some low-level military activities in Ukraine. The actions will be designed to achieve a rapid negotiating process that will not happen. The presidency will shift to the other party, as it did with Truman, Johnson and George W. Bush. Thus, if patterns hold true, the Republicans will retake the presidency. This is not a pattern unknown to Congress, which means that the Democrats in the legislature will focus on running their own campaigns as far away from Obama and the next Democratic presidential candidate as possible.
The period of a failed presidency is therefore not a quiet time. The president is actively trying to save his legacy in the face of enormous domestic weakness. Other countries, particularly adversaries, see little reason to make concessions to failed presidents, preferring to deal with the next president instead. These adversaries then use military and political oppositions abroad to help shape the next U.S. presidential campaign in directions that are in their interests.
It is against this backdrop that all domestic activities take place. The president retains the veto, and if the president is careful he will be able to sustain it. Obama will engage in limited domestic politics, under heavy pressure from Congressional Democrats, confining himself to one or two things. His major activity will be coping with Syria, Iraq and Russia, both because of crises and the desire for a legacy. The last two years of a failed presidency are mostly about foreign policy and are not very pleasant to watch.
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Trying to understand Ecumenism and Russian State Power


Rabaul volcanoHistorically, various Orthodox Churches have identified with the political governance in their nations (ethnic groups). Here is a current day example of how this relationship can work.  Westerners generally are left totally puzzled with this approach to Church life. It may help a little to see this instance outlined by the author. Ecumenism does not depend on one side presuming the other sides will do things their way.

Fr. Orthohippo

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s department of external relations and a frequent visitor to the West, is a young man of parts: a widely-published author, a composer, a gifted linguist. He can be charming and witty, as I discovered during two hours of conversation at the Library of Congress in 2011; and in the intervening years he’s positioned himself and his Church as defenders of traditional Christian values in a world threatened by Western decadence.

There’s a serious problem, however: Metropolitan Hilarion does not always speak the truth.

In the year since the Maidan “revolution of dignity” broke out in Ukraine, Hilarion has gone out of his way to attack the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine, charging that this largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches has been a partisan political actor; that its priests have fomented violence; and that Ukrainian Greek Catholics have been working to keep Ukrainian Orthodoxy divided. These are calumnies, for the charges are demonstrably false: The Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine has been a voice for national moral renewal and reconciliation; its priests have risked their lives to aid men and women of all confessions; and the Greek Catholic leadership has worked within the country’s established ecumenical structures to forge a united religious voice for a Ukraine that is free and prosperous, rid of the corruptions that have bedeviled it for decades.

In our Washington conversation, Metropolitan Hilarion would not even concede that the forced liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1946 was an act of thuggery perpetrated by Stalin’s secret police. Rather, he defended the bogus “L’viv Sobor [Council]” in the name of Orthodox prerogatives he evidently believes are threatened by Eastern-Rite Churches in full communion with Rome. That visceral disdain for the very existence of the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine has also been on public display this past year.

So what happens? Hilarion is invited to the recent Synod in Rome, where he used part of his time addressing the representatives of global Catholicism to repeat his lies about the activity of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine and his contempt for that martyr-Church.

This is unacceptable. For the past year, Metropolitan Hilarion and his master, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, have functioned as agents of Russian state power in matters having to do with Ukraine. Which is to say, they have functioned as agents of Vladimir Putin. I take it as axiomatic that serious ecumenical dialogue is impossible when the dialogue-partner operates under ambiguous or false pretenses and uses the dialogue to advance political interests. Yet that is the charade that is allowed to continue when Hilarion is welcomed in Rome. Indeed, the charade is reinforced.

Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has suggested that Hilarion’s aggressive and offensive intervention at the Synod damaged the Russian Orthodox Church. That may be. But inviting Hilarion to participate in the Synod, after a year of lies about the courageous efforts of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine to support a moral revolution in that hard-pressed land, was a self-inflicted wound on the part of the Holy See. It is now past time to reexamine the default positions in the Vatican Secretariat of State, and at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity that permitted Hilarion to lie in the Synod hall and to call into question the integrity of the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine as an ecclesial community.

No “dialogue” is worth the appeasement of aggression abetted by falsehood. Nothing is accomplished in terms of moderating Russian Orthodoxy’s historic deference to Russian state power (be that tsarist power, communist power, or the “managed democracy” of Mr. Putin) by giving Hilarion a platform like the Synod. And despite the fantasies of some Western pro-life and pro-family activists, there is nothing to be gained for those great causes in tandem with the current leadership of Russia, or of Russian Orthodoxy.

Stemming and then reversing the tide of Western decadence cannot be done by compromises with the truth.

George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Posted in + KIRILL Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, christian, church, cultural blinders, culture differences, ecumenism, history, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Christianity Today” report: It seems the Church of Satan has a list of recommended films on their website


Lessons from the Church of Satan

‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ in which the protagonist is impregnated by the Prince of Darkness.

Today I read, with interest, the interview that Gawker did about film with Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan.

(There’s a sentence you never expected to read in Christianity Today, eh?)

It seems the Church of Satan has a list of recommended films on their website—here it is—and the folks at Gawker got interested in why these films are on the list. Which is a reasonable question, given the list includes some expected picks (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Evilspeak, Nosferatu, Rosemary’s Baby) and some unexpected ones (everything from All the King’s Men to Bladerunnner to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). Wise Blood, based on the Flannery O’Connor novel, is on there too.

My friend Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post brought the interview with Gilmore to my attention because, as she pointed out, it is a prime demonstration of the difference between capital-r and lowercase-r ”religious” films that I wrote about a week and a half ago.

Chief among my points was that a “religious” film asked the religious questions—what is the nature of humans, what is the end of mankind, how ought we to direct our lives—while “Religious” films give a particular answer to that question derived from an organized system of some sort.

And so a film made by a non-religious filmmaker may very well be a religious film, or even a Religious film; a Religious filmmaker may also make an ultimately non-religious film, or a film that gives answers derived from quite another belief system. (I’d venture to argue that most of the religious films I’ve seen have been made by non-religious filmmakers; many Religious films, by contrast, have not been religious.)

In this case, the Church of Satan recommends films that they see as giving Satanist answers to the religious questions.

It sure looks like the Satanists have a much better grasp on this than many other faithful. Satanism, Gilmore points out, is not exactly a religion:

Satanism is an atheist philosophy using Satan as a symbol of pride, liberty, and individualism, as did many before us who would not accept the status quo such as Milton, Byron, Twain, and Carducci. Since the universe is indifferent to us, we Satanists choose to establish our own subjective hierarchy of values with ourselves as highest among them. Thus atheism moves to what I call I­theism, where we are each our own “gods.” We accept the full range of human emotions as healthy, from love to hate, noting both of those are uncommon extremes.

In other words, Satanism is existentialism and individualism run amok: it is the worship of the self above all other good. It’s a religion of the most American, most secular form: there is no transcendent good, not even a humanist or communitarian one, that supersedes the will of the individual. To use Internetspeak: IMHO, this is the natural end of the Enlightenment project. #humanfail

Then again: at least they’re up front about it. The Satanist form of worship (which I’ll take at face value, even if I came of age in the occult-obsessed 1990s) is, according to Gilmore, ritual for the purpose of “self-psychotherapy to rid ourselves of any emotions hindering our intelligently moderated pursuit of pleasures.”

So, if I read it correctly, then, adherents to the Church of Satan doesn’t worship a transcendent being called Satan who is the dichotomous opponent of God (Gilmore calls that a “Christian mythology”)—rather, they worship the self, the individual, whose pleasure ought to be pursued above all others, so long as it doesn’t cause major problems for the pursuant. It is a religion, something they freely admit—a sort of humanism without the collective humanism, an organized system of belief that affirms your ability to opt out whenever, as long as you worship the self.

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Is the High Church the Christianity of the future?


Why Millennials Long for Liturgy

Is the High Church the Christianity of the future?

America’s youth are leaving churches in droves. One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a 2012 Public Religion Research Institute poll, and 55 percent of those unaffiliated youth once had a religious identification when they were younger. Yet amidst this exodus, some church leaders have identified another movement as cause for hope: rather than abandoning Christianity, some young people are joining more traditional, liturgical denominations—notably the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox branches of the faith. This trend is deeper than denominational waffling: it’s a search for meaning that goes to the heart of our postmodern age.

For Bart Gingerich, a fellow with the Institute on Religion and Democracy and a student at Reformed Episcopal Seminary, becoming Anglican was an intellectual journey steeped in the thought of ancient church fathers. He spent the first 15 years of his life in the United Methodist Church, where he felt he was taught a “Precious Moments” version of Christianity: watered down, polite, and unreal. His family joined a nondenominational evangelical church when Gingerich was 16. Some of the youth he met were serious about their faith, but others were apathetic, and many ended up leaving the church later on.

While attending Patrick Henry College in Virginia, Gingerich joined a reformed Baptist church in the nearby town of Guilford. Gingerich read St. Augustine and connected strongly with his thought—in class from Monday to Friday, Gingerich found himself arguing for ideas that clashed with his method of worship on Sunday. Protestantism began troubling him on a philosophical level. Could he really believe that the church “didn’t start getting it right” till the Reformation?

The final straw came when a chapel speaker at the college explained the beauty of the Eucharist in the Anglican service. Gingerich knew this was what he was looking for. Soon after, he joined the Anglican Church.

For high-school English teacher Jesse Cone, joining the Orthodox Church fulfilled a deep yearning for community and sacramental reality. Cone grew up in the Presbyterian Church of America, heavily involved in youth group and church activities. While attending Biola University, an evangelical school in southern California, Cone returned home over the summers to help lead youth-group activities. He was hired as a youth pastor and “even preached a sermon.” But at Biola, Cone struggled to find a home church. There were many megachurches in the area that didn’t have the “organic, everyday substance” Cone was seeking.

He began attending an Anglican service, drawn to its traditional doctrine. He was a “perpetual visitor” over the next few years. A Bible study on the Gospel of John pushed him further towards the high church. Reading through the book with a group of friends, Cone began to notice the “conversational and sacramental” way Jesus related to people. “There’s a lot of bread, and wine, and water,” he says. From Jesus’s first miracle—turning water into wine—to telling his disciples “I am the True Vine,” the mundane, communal ways in which in which Jesus connected with people “confirmed in me a sense of sacramentalism—that everyday aspects of life are important, in a way the modern mindset doesn’t share,” Cone says. “I started looking at the world with more sacramental eyes.”

Cone became engaged to a woman who was also raised Presbyterian. In the weeks leading up to their marriage, they sought a church together, but none seemed to fit. Fundamental questions lingering in Cone’s mind—about church history, the importance of doctrine and dogma, what it means to live a full Christian life—came to a head. He told his wife, “I don’t think I’m comfortable being Orthodox, but I want to at least see one of their services, see what it’s like out there.” The next Sunday, they decided to attend an Orthodox Church with another young couple. By the end of the service, Cone says, “We were just blown away. Just blown away.” The worship, doctrine, and tradition were exactly what they had been looking for. “We were shell-shocked. And we haven’t stopped going since.”

For CreedCodeCult.com blogger Jason Stellman, joining the Catholic Church was an act of religious and intellectual honesty. Brought up in a Baptist church, Stellman became a missionary in Europe for Calvary Chapel after college. When he began studying and accepting Calvinistic theology, he was dismissed from Calvary’s ministry and moved back to the U.S. He joined the Presbyterian Church of America and enrolled in Westminster Seminary in 2000. He and his wife helped start a Presbyterian Church in Southern California some time later.

In 2008, Stellman was introduced to serious arguments for the Catholic faith.  He studied scriptural passages on church authority, the early church fathers, and St. Augustine’s writings on justification. The more Stellman read, the more he was drawn to the Catholic Church. While in Europe, he had attended mass at a cathedral in Brussels and discovered it possessed a liturgical beauty he hadn’t encountered before. Last year, he announced to his church that he was leaving to become Catholic.

Leaving one church for another is not easy. For Gingerich and Cone, the decision was difficult on a family and community level. Many in their old churches expressed confusion and hurt, and some asked rather ignorant, if well-intentioned, questions: “Do you worship Mary?” or “Do you still believe in Jesus?” There began a process of rebuilding trust that continues to this day. Stellman had to tell his church—a church he planted and ministered, and which his family still attends—that he could no longer serve as their pastor.

Yet all three say the high church has presented them with a sense of community they would not have experienced otherwise. For Gingerich, the seasons of feasting and fasting taught him to suffer and celebrate with the church in a way he had never experienced. “I was re-taught compassion,” he says. Cone’s Orthodox family now stretches from coast to coast and has supported him and his wife as they raise their three children. Their priest drives an hour to their house for confession, knowing how difficult it is for them to make the drive. “He leaves the 99 to get the one,” Cone says.

Many Protestant churches have noticed these congregational trends and their loss of numbers. Some are adopting a more liturgical style to draw in younger audiences: the new book Gathering Together, by Christian theology professor Steve Harmon, describes a Baptist denominational move towards a greater liturgical focus. “It represents an increasingly widespread Baptist recognition that our tradition by itself is not sufficient,” Harmon told ABP News.

Gingerich argues that such stylistic treatments dodge the real question: the issues of church authority behind the traditional liturgy. Cone says he sees “a sincere expression of gratitude and study” from his Protestant friends. But, he adds, “When I look at a Protestant service, it lacks the mystery and power of the body of Christ. … The whole life of the church, the prayers of the desert fathers, the blood of the martyrs, is more intimately connected in the Orthodox life than a mere stylistic change that a Protestant church can do.”

Yet Lee Nelson, Co-Chair of the Catechesis Taskforce of the Anglican Church of North America, is hopeful that if evangelical churches begin adopting elements of liturgical worship, some of the Christianity’s larger schisms might dissipate. One must wonder, he admits: are churches becoming liturgical because it’s cool or because it’s right? But when a church’s intention is truly worship-motivated, Nelson thinks such changes can lead “closer and closer to Christian unity, and that’s the best part.”

Nelson believes a sacramental hunger lies at the heart of what many millennials feel. “We are highly wired to be experiential,” he says. In the midst of our consumer culture, young people “ache for sacramentality.”

“If you ask me why kids are going high church, I’d say it’s because the single greatest threat to our generation and to young people nowadays is the deprivation of meaning in our lives,” Cone says. “In the liturgical space, everything becomes meaningful. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. … We’re so thirsty for meaning that goes deeper, that can speak to our entire lives, hearts, and wallets, that we’re really thirsty to be attached to the earth and to each other and to God. The liturgy is a historical way in which that happens.”

The millennial generation is seeking a holistic, honest, yet mysterious truth that their current churches cannot provide. Where they search will have large implications for the future of Christianity. Protestant churches that want to preserve their youth membership may have to develop a greater openness toward the treasures of the past. One thing seems certain: this “sacramental yearning” will not go away.

Gracy Olmstead is associate editor

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