Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Church attendance in the U.S. has remained static for 15 years. Many young people feel disconnected from religion, feeling that traditional churches don't address their real-world concerns.
It's no wonder, then, that more and more churches have special services for the 18-to-24-year-old "Gen Y" crowd. Congregations have sprung up around young people ready to make their unique mark on the world of faith and spirituality.
In Jackson, several Christian churches cater to Gen Y. The services feature guitars instead of organ music, the locations may be unorthodox, and the classes teach young people the value of faith in daily life and making a difference in the community. There's The Journey, which holds Sunday services in Hal & Mal's Red Room at 6 p.m. St. Alexis Episcopal, located at 650 E. South St., also holds Sunday services at 6 p.m. and a Bible discussion group called "Soul Food" on Wednesdays. The St. Alexis Web site says they cater to people "looking for a relationship with God, who may find traditional churches an uncomfortable fit."
Many young people have found a home at Galloway United Methodist, at 305 N. Congress St. Galloway has a city-wide reputation for openness, welcoming the LGBT community, for example, when many churches don't. They broadcast their 11 a.m. Sunday service on WAPT.
First Baptist Church at 431 N. State St. also broadcasts their services, on WJLT at 10 a.m. Sundays. First Baptist offers "The Link" at 10:30 a.m. Sundays, promoting a casual, open approach, and has numerous classes for young adults; Download sermons from their Web site.
If contemporary gospel music is more your style than old hymns, The Church Triumphant, at 731 S. Pear Orchard Rd. in Ridgeland may be what you're looking for. They are nondenominational, multicultural and multiracial.
Does your church offer special or unique services? Add the information to Jackpedia.com under Faith and Worship.
If there's any Gen Y-er who would also wants to watch Christian TV without the same old same-old, check out JCTV. I don't know when the station will be in DirecTV, but you can watch the station right on the Web site.