CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] -- "The Unchurched: How to Reach the Lost, the Lapsed and the Letdown" will be the theme of a webinar conducted by Archpriest Jonathan Ivanoff, Director of Mission and Evangelism of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
"Father Jonathan will explore this remarkable development in American religious life," said Mr. Joseph Kormos, head of the Diocese of the Midwest’s Parish Development Ministry, which is coordinating the webinar. "While America is still perhaps the most ‘religious’ nation in the world, we are growing -- rapidly -- a class of Americans whose reaction to and interaction with Christianity ranges from indifference to outright hostility. But we can reach them, if we understand who they are and what they want -- and need. And Orthodox Christianity can provide this."
According to Mr. Kormos, evangelizing the unchurched is crucial, given the fact that
- 120 million Americans have reportedly dropped out of "organized religion" and no longer identify with a church.
- It is now estimated that some 36 million Americans claim no faith, compared to less than 12 million in 1990 and approximately 29 million in 2001.
- The number of Americans who have broken ties with any and all Christian traditions and who no longer attend Sunday services is greater than the number of active Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians combined.
- One in 10 Americans are ex-Catholics; if they were a separate denomination, ex-Catholics would constitute the third-largest denomination in the US, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identify themselves as Catholic.
"Webinar participants will learn exactly what -- and who -- are the ‘unchurched,’ how they differ or are similar to the ‘lapsed,’ and ways our parishes can prepare to reach them for Christ," Mr. Kormos added.
To register for the webinar, log on to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/999015168. Registrants will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the webinar. PC-based attendees will need Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server, while Macintosh®-based attendees will require Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer.