Actually listening to “Religious Nones”

I find this to be an incredibly poignant posting; it’s a snapshot of a larger conversation about the importance of listening to each other– the Church to “The Nones” and vice versa.

I truly believe that the work the ELCA is doing in the world so fully jives with the big philosophical and practical ideas of people of my generation, that we could do great things together.

But the Church could do a better job at listening and partnering (not merely “bringing in the unchurched”), and “The Nones” could do a better job at listening and realizing that Lutherans exist in paradox and doubt while doing important, *real* work in the world.


Best of luck, and be good to other humans.


I really, truly heard it for the first time: “I’m not missing something,” she said. “I don’t want you to see me as lacking. I’m perfectly fine without religion.” For some reason, I finally heard this loud and clear at a panel discussion last Friday night at the New England Synod of the ELCA (video forthcoming: Mad props for attempting to live stream it!)

The professional religious world has been talking a TON about “Religious nones” since the Pew study came out in October 2012 that documented one in five Americans has no religious affiliation and one in three under 30. We’ve been talking a ton. I’m not sure we’ve been listening to “religious nones” as much as we’ve been talking about “religious nones.”

I attend Church meetings professionally. It’s an occupational hazard. Church annual meetings are mostly insider baseball: committee reports, resolutions, budgets. Church annual meetings are a space…

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