Sunday, July 31, 2016

Things falling apart

I’ve been struggling to keep dying OA meetings alive.  First there was a phone meeting that I kept alive for many years, tho a young man finally took it over for me.  Then there is a small meeting that I go to near my  home every week.  Sometimes there are only two or three. Sometimes I’m the only one.  We’re lucky when we get five people.

The Methodist Church where we have this meeting also is struggling.  The paint is peeling.  It seems like the number of people attending the service is not that much more than attend the OA meeting. 

This weekend I went to an SLAA meeting in the city, which used to be very large, but there were only 3 of us there and no chair, so I had to go get the key to get into the room, even tho I arrived late. 

That church, which is Catholic, seems to be struggling as well.  The toilet near our meeting room doesn’t stop flushing, for instance, even though I’ve reported it.

Why are things falling apart?

Some of it is changed religious beliefs.  How many people really identify theologically with Methodists any more?  I don’t know. 

With the Catholic Church, of course, we know there have been losses of money due to sexual abuse scandals. 

Another  thing is the Internet.  Everyone is glued to their electronic devices and doesn’t have time to go to in person events.  Also, on the Internet, they can find more exciting content: songs sung better, preachers who are more eloquent. 

Another thing is the loss of the great volunteer force, which was stay at home moms.  This force of able workers devoted themselves to many of our national institutions — especially churches.  They aren’t available any more.

As women’s “liberation” encouraged women to believe that working outside the home was liberating, the economy adjusted to the idea that families had two incomes.  Housing prices doubled, so that one person working could no longer afford a home.  It was like during the California gold rush, where prices went up so high that gold miners could get no profits off the gold that they found.

Now, working outside the home is no longer an option.  It’s mandatory for the financial security of the family. People no longer have the time and energy to do do those older things, like keep churches going.  Everyone’s working multiple jobs, just trying to stay afloat.

So now I’m thinking about Trump who speaks to people who think the country is falling apart and Obama who is saying that things are pretty good.  I guess in some sense both can be seen as true.

Still, what do I want to devote my energies to saving? 

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