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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 22, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta THI irmiHIDG! HIUID Irtvrday, Januiry M, If71 Too activist, too involved' excuse of Ch urch dropouts By DAN L. TIIRAPP Loi Angeles Times WTHEN people drop out of church it is not due U> the institution's involvement in so- cial issues or similar dissatis- faction, but because the church has ceased to be imporant to them, a survey in the United States and Canada shows. Many people, as an excuse for no longer attending ser- vices, say the church is "too or "to or is taking on interests at var- iance with the Gospel. But these people often are ra- tionalizing digging for an ex- cuse to cover up a general lag in interest in spiritual matters the survey suggests. This and other information was elicited from in-depth interviews at 21 deonominaltons in the United Slates and Can- da over a two-year period. The results were summarized by the National Council of Churches, which, however, did not conduct or sponsor the sur- vey. Depite the finding about why people drift away from the church, pastors and laymen in- terviewed expressed faith In lie future of organized religion Rated least important in rea sons why people leave organ- ized religion were "social in volvement of the church, doc trinal differences, and inade- quate church facilities." Rather.tbey drift away, ac cording to most pastors quer led, because of a feeling thai "the church is not importanl in modern or lack of time or a compensating interest in other organizations in the com- munity in other words, they do not feel that what the church Clergymen who thunder from pulpit dead image TORONTO (CP) The clergyman thundering from the pulpit at a congregation which will not live up to the ideals he sets for them is a dead image, says Canon Owen Pricbard of Toronto, looking back on 30 years as an Angli- can priest. "No true priest would ever get any personal charge out of a Thus Saith the Lord atti- tude. We are only messenger boys for the Commandments, you might say." Canon Prichard gives every appearance of being a happy roan, even though he Js part of a profession that has gone through profound change dur- ing the last decade or two. He has been rector at Church of the Redeemer in mid-town To- ronto for 17 years. It was the Roman Catholic priest in the plays of Sean O'Casey or in rural Canada who being among the or three educated men in the re- gion could presume to tell people what they should do, how they should vote, what career to follow and even whom to marry. But there were counterparts in other denominations, preachers calling down tie wrath of God on members of Uses prize money to help the needy MONTREAL