Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport, Connecticut is trying something different. As this 300-year old congregation looked at their community, they saw a large amount of people who were leaving organized religion, but not stepping away from the larger identity of being a person of faith or being spiritual. This “Spiritual but not Religious” identity is one that has been growing in the United States as people struggle with institutional religion, but still yearn for that space of contemplation and connection.
In light of all of this Trinity decided to launch the Trinity Spiritual Center, which offers lectures, classes on meditation, and much more. The focus is not solely on Christian practices or beliefs, but spans across a variety of traditions and backgrounds.
Bob Smietana of the Religion New Service writes:
About 3 in 10 Americans claim no religious affiliation, according to data from the Pew Research Center, and a similar number say religion has little influence in their life. Only a third of Americans attend church regularly, according to Pew. But only 4% identify as atheists. And many unaffiliated Americans have spiritual beliefs, according to Pew, even if they eschew organized religion.
Grayson, who has long practiced meditation, wondered if there was a way for the church to create a space where people could gather, connect and share their spiritual journeys, no matter what they believed.
“I’ve been on this huge spiritual journey that has been all over the place, but came back to the church as my anchor,” he said.
The center draws on contemplative practices from the Christian faith and from other traditions, he said, and has hosted programs on spirituality as well as social issues such as racism and gender.
Read the full article here.