"It took me over a decade to think about attending a church from another tradition." She was describing the pain of leaving the church of her childhood, in this case the Roman Catholic church
One of the more interesting pieces of research on the growing number of people who have left the church comes from the work of Elizabeth Drescher. In this article/interview, she describes something that I have intuitively sensed for years, but never had confirmation. Roman catholics have left their church largely out of a sense of betrayal. Whether it is over divorce or sexual abuse scandals, many RC's have moved on out of a sense of lost loyalty i.e. they were loyal but the church was not. Those who have walked away from evangelical or what we might call conservative churches have left out of anger. They have a sense of being duped or tricked on topics like evolution, and as they matured in faith and life they discovered new ways of thinking about life. But, most people who have left mainline congregations, such as Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists, left because, well, they were bored. They did the church thing and got it, and it seems there was nothing more. They got bored and dropped out.
I want to dive into this topic more deeply with Elizabeth and Keith Anderson, when they are with us on Saturday, January 25th at Trinity in Worcester. We'll be broadcasting this event on this new fangled thing called the internet. If you would like to attend, you can register by clicking here. If you are not in the area, send me an email, and I'll get you access for the internet webcast.