by Pastor Donna


In recent years, church attendance has significantly declined across all denominations. This raises the question of WHY so many have stopped coming.

There is a story that comes to mind about a young newlywed cooking supper. As she prepared a ham, she instinctively cut two inches off each end, just as her mother did. When her husband asked why, she realized she didn’t know and decided to call her mother to inquire. Her mother, unsure herself, called her own mother for an explanation. It turned out that the tradition originated from having a small oven that could only hold a small pan and using the ham ends for another meal.

The newlywed had no idea WHY the ham had to be cut a certain way. Just like the newlywed, it is possible that people have forgotten the “WHY” behind attending church. The lost meaning and purpose has led to two generations of people who do not know what a faith community, a church, has to offer.  

While it’s true that people’s lives have become busier, it’s worth noting that they still manage to find time and resources to attend sporting events and music concerts. This begs the question of why attending church has fallen off their calendars all together. 

The lost meaning and purpose of going to church also raises concerns about the spiritual care of children and the family unit as a whole. Children and young people are denied the opportunity for spiritual nourishment through religious studies, sacraments, and being a part of the social aspects and charity work that arises out of such teaching and community. 

Groveland Congregational Church has experienced a decline in attendance, especially during the pandemic. However, we remain hopeful and committed to re-engaging with the community. We know WHY we are here!  It is because we understand our purpose.  

When asked, most say being a member of a faith community is important because they have experienced God’s love and their lives have been transformed. They hunger for deeper understanding and a closer connection to God. Others seek comfort or companionship, and others more are influenced by family traditions. We are not perfect people, we are a diverse group of people who come from different backgrounds, beliefs and levels of spiritual maturity. Our Faith Community is where we learn to love, and forgive and offer grace. 

No matter what, I am convinced everyone should “stop” going to church and start going to Worship! Attending worship on Sunday is a start. But there is so much more: spiritual guidance and a foundation for a life God is ready and willing to give you. 

Prayers have been said for you and we trust people will respond we need you as much as you may need us, because just as coals need each other to create a flame, we need each other to grow and glow spiritually. 



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