Here’s an article about a Lutheran church that is up for sale in Sacramento.
The congregation is small and is not closing but wants to find a new direction. They say that many people find they can meditate in their back yard and call that secularism. I think it is a form of spirituality. My ancestors were among the Swedish Lutherans who started the Augustana Lutheran Synod in the U.S. in the late 1800s. They were called pietists. They wanted a personal spirituality but didn’t try to leave the church. In fact they came to the U.S. and set up a church and probably needed it as immigrants as a way to keep together and help each other in community. Now we have so many communities, though the corner church is suffering. Is this because the church doesn’t understand why people aren’t coming or is it because the church isn’t needed? I think there is a little of both. I’ve written a dissertation relating Creation Spirituality to Lutheranism and addressed the issue of popular spirituality vs. traditional Christianity. I was raised in the Lutheran church and stopped going for awhile as I explored other spiritualities. Then I went back but didn’t go every week. Now I have moved and haven’t gone to church in a year. I hope keep a connection to the Lutheran church but don’t know yet where or how.
If you have had similar questions, I hope to hear from you here.