National Lutheran News

Nine local Lutheran congregations to call people “back to church”

National “Back to Church Sunday,” an initiative under the theme of “Inviting America Back to Church,” will be held September 16, 2012. The event seeks to reach the “un-churched” and “de-churched” — people who once attended church, but don’t any more — and invite them to return on a special Sunday.

Back to Church Sunday was launched four years ago in response to a survey of 15,000 adults in the United States. Results showed a personal invitation from a family member would prompt 67 percent of Americans to visit a church, and 63 percent said an invitation from a friend or neighbor would cause them to attend a service.

“We believe that being connected to other Christians is an essential part of a healthy spiritual life,” said Pastor Michael Michalk, Mount Olive Lutheran Church (LCMS), Mound, a Minnesota congregation participating in this outreach event.

Since its inception, National Back to Church Sunday participants have invited more than five million family members, friends, and neighbors to their churches. About 14,000 churches are expected to participate this year, inviting more than two million visitors.

An American Religious Identification Survey showed that 83 percent of American adults self-identify as Christians. In contrast, a survey by the Barna Group indicated only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday.

Last year, more than 7,600 churches participated, a 25 percent increase in their attendance on that day.

For more information, visit www.backtochurch.com. Back to Church Sunday also has an interactive Facebook page at www.facebook.com/backtochurch.

Participating area Lutheran congregations, all in Minnesota, are Joy Lutheran Church, 1155 Joy Circle, Cambridge (LCMS); Trinity Lutheran Church, 13025 Newell Avenue, Lindstrom (ELCA); St. Paul Lutheran Church, 5879 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming (ELCA); Saving Grace Lutheran Church, Delano (LCMS); Fish Lake Immanuel Lutheran Church, 20200 Fairlawn Avenue, Prior Lake (LCMS); Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 5218 Brtlett Blvd., Mound (LCMS); Grace Lutheran Church of Deephaven, 18360 Minnetonka Blvd, Wayzata (AALC); St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 5421 France Avenue South, Edina (LCMS); and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1901 Portland, Minneapolis (LCMC).

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