Are There Any Progressive Christians in the South?
Posted on Jan 07, 2010 – 12:32 PM on the Progressive Christian Center of the South’s website:
Last September Barbara Wendland, author of CONNECTIONS, a monthly newsletter, announced the formation of a new organization called The Progressive Christian Center of the South (PCCS). Barbara addressed the important question of “Why the South?” Everyone knows that, typically southerners are quite comfortable with their Christianity. The Bible-belt thrives with packed churches every Sunday. New construction to increase the size of sanctuaries can be seen all over the South. “Jesus Saves” and “Boiled peanuts” signs connote a comfortable, conservative and modest lifestyle. Why would anyone form an organization for “progressive” Christians in the South? This seems especially so if everyone already knows that southerners are “good” Christian folk who believe Jesus rose from the dead, Moses parted the Red Sea, a snake talked to Eve, and Jona was spit up on the shore from a whale’s mouth.”
Is that so? Take a closer look. Are church sanctuaries really packed every Sunday? Scan the congregations and you see a lot of “white” hair (well, not exactly as there is a lot of hair coloring in the deep South). But my point is that the age of churchgoers is old! So, could there be a growing number of “progressives” living in the South? You may be quite surprised to know the answer is, “Yes.”
Take a moment to read or re-read Barbara Wendland’s September 2009 issue of CONNECTIONS. Barbara vividly articulates “Why the South?” and why now in 2010 this emerging network of southern progressive Christians is so imperative.