Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Death of Institutions

Chide me all you want for reading sports blogs, but I thought Will Leitch's reflection on the death of Harry Kalas was poignant:
There aren't many broadcasters like Buck and Kalas left...they are relics of a more permanent era, when people really did have one job for 50 years and couldn't be happier about it. (And back when people listened to the radio, the one station they could get, only if they happened to be on a hill.) That doesn't happen anymore, in any field. The people who have been doing this for so long, whether they're a broadcaster, or a newsman, or just the guy who does your taxes, are the last of their breed. We are a transient society, constantly moving, looking for the next thing, never sitting still for too long. There isn't much constancy. This makes for a more vibrant, exciting life. (Theoretically, anyway.) But it also casts darkness on all our institutions: When nothing lasts for too long, those things have lost value. We appreciate them more ... but we find ourselves mourning them less when they're gone. There's always something else.

I think Leitch is right. I see that in our congregation - dozens of households (usually young families) have come and gone in the past six years. Lots of new faces around the church; and many familiar ones are gone. Perhaps this is just the way of things for Xers and Millennials. If so, what does this mean for the church - one of the oldest "institutions" in history. Will it exist two generations from now? If so, what will it look like?

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