Maine is the one of the most unchurched states in America

It’s edged out by Vermont and is a hair ahead of New Hampshire, according to 2014 figures from Pew.

It also has the oldest population in the nation and not much in the way of other civic associations and social clubs these days, from what I see. Are people even getting together anymore? What’s been happening with traditions like hunting and fishing or the Grange?

When I say “unchurched,” I’m referring here to active attendance and membership, not the buildings, institutions, or hierarchies. It’s the interactions of a body of believers.

Somehow, I view the decaying landmark white churches and spires as mirroring a general decay in employment opportunities and a fraying social structure. As for families and friends? They’re not what they once were, either.

This is New England, after all, with images of Minuteman patriotism, Puritan uprightness, and democracy-in-action town meetings, not the Far West. “The way life should be,” as one of Maine’s travel slogans proclaims while overlooking some serious and troubling realities.

Are there any viable alternatives on the horizon?

How do we care for “the least among us” when we all seem to be racing to the bottom line?

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