Monday, May 11, 2015

Can Old World Churches Survive in "New" Black Communities

Can Old World Churches Survive in "New" Black Communities

In approximately 30 days St. Dorothy Catholic Elementary School, at 450 E 78th Street, will close its doors after graduating several thousand students and operating 98 years. In October 2014 the Chicago Archdiocese announced that St. Dorothy would close and merge with St. Coumbanus to create Augustus Tolton Academy. The Tolton Academy will be housed at the former St. Columbanus School building. Also, it was recently announced that Salem Lutheran Church, 318 E. 74th, who recently celebrated their 145th anniversary, has been placed under receivership. The church is under the receivership of the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The receiver attempting to shore up the church finances sold "Salem House". Salem House, which is a brick bungalow adjacent to the church, was used for meeting space, social services and other uses. The house was donated to the church over 30 years ago.

Both of these churches have survived racial and ethnic changes over the years but with the recent major changes the question has to be asked. Can these churches survive? 

Both Salem and St. Dorothy have dwindling congregations as well as dwindling contributions. Both churches hosted boy and girl scouts and teen clubs. Some in this community were exposed to sports such as skiing with their involvement in these churches.

Fast forward to today and boy and girl scouts are considered out of touch with today's youth and many have changed their views on assimilation. Many African Americans who moved to Chatham and Park Manor started to attend catholic and Lutheran churches in the community to get along with their non African American neighbors. Today many believe that philosophy was flawed and prefer to attend traditional "Black churches" or "Mega" churches.

What happened and why are these churches in the condition they face today? Do we have "black churches" in the community that will soon face the same predicament?

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE READ FIRST!!!! Comment Moderating and Anonymous Comment Policy

While anonymous comments are not prohibited we do encourage you to help readers identify you so that other commenters may respond to you. Either read the moderating policy for how or leave an identifier (which could be a nickname for example) at the end of the comment.

Also note that this blog is NOT associated with any public or political officials including Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer!