Ever since I was a kid, I've been intrigued by gestalt pictures. These intriguing pictures contain two images, but the viewer can see only one of them at a time; as one comes to the foreground, the other recedes into the background. In one famous picture I can see either two faces or a candlestick. In another one, I can see either a young woman or an older one.
When our girls were still quite young, my husband Norm
and I moved our family from our fast-paced life and work in Chicago to
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Norm had accepted a teaching position. Feeling a
bit like Abraham and Sarah, we made a radical change of landscape.
What do young people look for in church? In research done in 250 congregations among people ages 15–29, respondents repeatedly said they were looking for congregations that were “welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring.” The researchers began to call this set of concerns the “warmth cluster.” Worship bands and ministry programs are not a priority, nor is busyness. Even “niceness” doesn’t work with young people. What they apparently seek at church is a sense of family, which calls for intergenerational relationships (Washington Post, September 6).