Progressive Brethren Gathering to Discuss Growth of the ‘Not Religiously Affiliated’ Population

“Spiritual but Not Religious: Living Faith in the World Today” is the theme of the 7th annual Progressive Brethren Gathering on Nov 7-9, hosted by Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa.

“Who are the Progressive Brethren? Progressives are people who are open to new possibilities and directions that God’s spirit may be leading,” explains an announcement of the gathering. “We embrace the gifts of diversity, hospitality, intellectual pursuit, honest engagement, and creative worship.” The event is a joint venture of several organizations including the Open Table Cooperative, the Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, and Womaen’s Caucus.

The event will address current statistics and survey results indicating a growth in the population of the “not religiously affiliated” and those who consider themselves “spiritual” but not “religious.” “Between 1990 and 2010, the number of Americans who claimed to have no religious affiliation more than tripled, from 14 million to 46 million. This makes the so-called nones–individuals who respond to questions about their religious affiliations with ‘none’–the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in the United States,” said the announcement. “So what does this mean for the church? What does this mean for Progressive Brethren?”

The keynote speaker for the gathering is Linda A. Mercadante, professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and author of “Beliefs Without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but Not Religious.”

The registration deadline is Oct. 15. Hotel blocks and special rates are available from three local hotels. Members of the Stone Church also are willing to host participants in their homes at no charge. A limited number of scholarships are available for those needing financial assistance to attend. Please contact the Progressive Council at .

For more information and online registration go to .

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