Church trends for the last quarter of 2019.

Fourth Quarter 2019Everyone else is doing 4th quarter projections. We’re getting reminded of what we can think about getting done in the last 3 months of the year. Retailers and shoppers and finance people and fundraisers are all planning how best to take advantage of the time. And sometimes take advantage of each other. 

It’s helpful sometimes. It’s a reminder to shake off the distractions, clear out the cobwebs, get back on track. 

I realized that there are some of those projections for people of faith that might be helpful. 

1. Remember that there are Sundays coming every week for the next three months. No increase in those days, no decrease. So there are opportunities to rest, to sabbath, to gather. For some groups, the trend toward receiving the Lord’s body and blood, in reality or in symbols, will remain constant weekly. 

2. There will be the opportunity to remember all the saints who have gone ahead of us coming the beginning of November. The reminder of our mortality, of the lives we have lost this year and in past years, provides a significant grounding. 

3. Though we are all called to always give thanks, in several cultures there is public attention to that practice late in November. It doesn’t hurt to think ahead, to get in shape for gratitude. 

4. And then we start the new church year on December first this year. Advent, as a season of reflection and preparation, always surprises people. Fortunately, Advent gives us a four-week long target so we can calm down, slow down, and rest up while the culture gets increasingly chaotic. 

So that’s what’s coming. Patterns that have developed over millennia, with roots when the church was THE social media. Have a great 4th quarter!

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For more on Advent, see Saint John of the Mall

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