Did You Know?
The results of landmark study done by the respected organization Public Religion Research (PRR) were just released several weeks ago. The results show that the number of people who identify as unaffiliated with any church (the nones) have decreased for two years in a row and conservative Evangelical church numbers are falling precipitously.
So where are these religious refugees migrating to?
To progressive mainline churches (like PoP). Analysts say that church goers are looking for churches that have justice ministries, and instill a sense of belonging among members who share common spiritual practices.
Some of the justice work that Prince of Peace is up do:
1. New and continuing members at PoP are noticing that we have fed the homeless in Houska Park several times this summer. These feeding events resonate with our support of our local food shelf and ELCA Domestic and Global Hunger initiatives.
2. Our chemo care kit project has received lots of attention from other churches on how to replicate the project in their part of the country.
3. In 2020 we were the rare youth group that was able to pull off a workcamp – this time in our own town! In 2021 we served in Pennsylvania. Our congregation raised money for the Habitat for Humanity home build in La Crosse with Chicken Q and bake sale.
4. As pandemic began and George Floyd happened we were already reading Waking Up White with many members of the La Crescent community joining us for the important discussion on race and privilege.
5. We hosted screenings of movies about living in a politically purple region and how people can respectfully learn from each other. Another screening we hosted was what it is like to grow up black in La Crosse. Also, our congregation is a member of the organization - Churches for Middle East Peace.
6. We invited a refugee who lives in West Salem to tell us her story as we try to educate ourselves on how we can use our blessings to be a blessing for others. Our Refugee Response Team is helping us understand how we can all help with the recent arrival of Afghanistan guests.
7. Not to be forgotten - a percentage of our weekly offering goes to supporting many more justice ministries through our national church (too many to list in this announcement).
All of these ministries are ongoing, pandemic did not stop them.