With attendance at church showing a 17% decline, it is estimated that 40% of mainline churches will be forced to close down by the year 2020 because they just can't make it financially. Upkeep and maintenance cost of the specialized buildings are just too high and they need help to survive. Churches, designed for rituals and ceremonies can not be sold for much else because they are set up for special use that does not lend itself to much else(i.e. It is hard to change a church into an IHOP, McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A or hotel).
One Church, the McMinnville Cooperative Ministries is the McMinnville United Methodist Church
and Trinity Lutheran Church in McMinnville on 307 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR 97128 and is using various methods to survive. Having three ceremonies, one Methodist, one Lutheran and a mixed session, Hosting 24 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week and a Boy Scout Troop this church is striving to survive.
McMinnville Cooperative Ministries Website: http://www.mac-coop.org/
Alcoholics Anonymous. the Spiritualist, not Religious organization started by the Bill Wilson who was married to the Swedenborg Faith Lois Wilson appears to be helping immeasurably in keeping this church alive since most rituals and ceremonies at this church are to the gods of Alcoholics Anonymous.
This is a disturbing trend that could make the Spiritualist, not Religious faith of Alcoholics Anonymous take over mainstream churches for the purpose of Bill Wilson chanting and filled with criminals recruited from jails and prisons.
As congregations dwindle, brokers struggle to fill empty churches
POSTED: Monday, July 30, 2012 at 02:19 PM PT
BY: Lee Fehrenbacher
....... Courtney McHill is a United Methodist pastor for the McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, a co-op that combines Methodist and Lutheran congregations under one roof.
The arrangement started about six years ago as a way for one pastor to fill in for another when that person was on a mission. But it has since evolved into a kind of full-service community center. In addition to being used for three different mass schedules (one Methodist, one Lutheran and one mixed) the building accommodates 24 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and local Boy Scout troop gatherings. Free coffee is offered all day, and free breakfast is served on Saturdays.
McHill said it works great.
“Why would we funnel more funds into all these different buildings when that’s not our mission,” she said. “It’s to be out in the world with people.”
Brauer-Rieke said the Bethlehem congregation ultimately arrived at the same conclusion. The group now travels and “nests” with other Portland-area churches; he said many are relieved that there are no more worries about paying monthly bills.
But concerns did arise. When the idea of selling the church was broached, one woman in her early 70s asked him, “Where will my funeral be?”
A big turning point came about two weeks after the congregation left the building and a woman in her 90s – one of the group’s most long-standing parishioners – died. An intimate service was held at the Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes.
The congregation’s pastor, Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, said the experience helped people realize that it wasn’t the building that mattered most, but rather how the life was celebrated. Brauer-Rieke said selling a church building is still hard.
“All of us want ties to the ancestors. We want our history … That’s part of why we’re so resistant to this stuff,” Brauer-Rieke said. “Because people at some gut level know, boy, if we lose this, it’s gone forever.”
That said, Brauer-Rieke said more Portland-area churches likely will go up for sale. Meanwhile, brokers will continue to seek buyers.
“Their building for them is an important part of their lives and to let it go for land value just sort of rubs against them the wrong way,” Hagan said. “But unless you’re McMenamins and going to have the temple bar or something, I mean who’s going to use it with the stained glass? It’s not going to happen.”
Read the entire story: http://djcoregon.com/news/2012/07/30/as-congregations-dwindle-brokers-st...