Melanie, commenting the last post, is right: the old mainline is, on the whole, very dispirited. What I miss, and what I hope to find, is church that can have a bit of backbone without either being a Dutch Uncle or “Howard Dean at his worst” pontificating.
If Riverside Church, New York City, was closer, I’d go to it. If I hadn’t been baptized in infancy, I might have gone over to the more liberal, liturgically minded Baptists. Since neither is the case, and I feel a call to proclaim universal salvation, I’m here. The irony is that many of the Christian clergy in this sometimes-too-liberal-for-its-own-good denomination are culturally and liturgically more conservative than their peers in the UCC, and perhaps even in the PCUSA.
But as it is, most of the liberal-side mainline churches do seem to be on irrevocable downslide, and fully captive to what some sociologists a decade ago called “lay liberalism“. Sheesh, this is not a growing proposition, and will land American Protestantism is a death spiral.
(And the church Melanie mentioned didn’t do it for me either.)