This spring, the Metropolis of Atlanta distributed a survey to its clergy to gather data about the demographics of its respective parishes. One question revealed a valuable, if somewhat troubling statistic: those who are single make up the sixth highest “special population” (45.16%), behind those who are divorced (the fifth highest group, with 41.94%). This statistic raises two very salient questions: where are our young people, and what can we do to reengage them in the life of the church?
As with any problem, we attempted to answer the question, and propose solutions through first-person interviews with our target audience: young people who are out of college, and are, as yet, unmarried. Spanning the spectrum of gender, job fields and their own personal senses of faith, each person has a unique perspective on what might be done to build the bridge between this generation and the Mother Church.
The responses of these interviews, and further brainstorming sessions yielded a report, which was submitted to this week’s Clergy-Laity conference for further review.
In the coming months, we here at Family Life Ministry will continue to refine our plans for activities and discussion groups. We hope to not only share and publicize those events, but to use the interviews as a springboard to bring a larger number of voices to this blog.
For as much uncertainty as there exists in these times, the time spent planning this module has shown us that our Orthodox young adults are resourceful, thoughtful; and above all, they truly wish to find ways to engage with their faith, and to live truthfully. We hope that you will continue to follow us on this exciting aspect of our ministry.
More to come…