hank merges sig

Where are Christian churches headed?

Something is happening.

According to the Baylor Survey on Religion, fewer and fewer people identify as Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians etc.

Rather, the survey points out, nondenominational churches are thriving. They're the second-largest ... and fastest-growing ... group of Protestant churches in America.

Meanwhile, the York County Council of Churches, in its 60th year, is currently asking some 140 member congregations:

What is it that we should do to better serve your needs?

The council, which has had four, or perhaps five, executive directors over the past decade, is struggling to sort out its role with church members and their desires in relation to the community and its needs ... a quest undertaken amid the burning issues of our changing times.

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Want to build a better world, a better country, a better community, a better neighborhood, a better family life?

This is National Kindness Week ... a good time to start, a good time for all of us to think about lighting up the lives of those around us with acts of kindness, not just this week, but every day of our lives.

Pollyannaish?

Not really. Kindness is a far more practical path than simply ignoring people or insulting them or making them angry.

Little acts of kindness can go a long way and they don't cost a penny ... a smile, a compliment, a "thank you," a helping hand ... hardly expensive.

Taking note of National Kindness Week, York Rotary envisioned:

"What a different world we could build and enjoy, if we just reached out with an act of kindness."

Let's vow to do it ... a deliberate act of kindness each and every day.

As Mark Twain observed: "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Hank at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.