In his novel, Nothing to be Frightened Of, British Baby Boomer Julian Barnes begins with these words: “I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.” His remark reminded me of a comment made to me 35 years ago, by a then much younger Boomer: “I don’t miss the Church or all that Sunday School stuff they taught us, but I do miss the piety.”
Today if you ask those working in the field of church and culture, most will tell you that it is the piety or spiritual practices that many people miss. Chief among those searching for a more practical spirituality are those of us who are called Baby Boomers, who in Canada (depending on who you are talking to) were born roughly between 1946 and 1964.
We Boomers are a very diverse group. We also have very eclectic tastes. We draw nourishment from many sources: the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, meditation, spirit yoga, native spirituality, world religions, the arts, eastern mysticism, Reiki, Shamanic healing, crystals, and drumming, to name just a few. While our approaches may be as individual as we are, some things many of us share include a longing for the transcendent and a desire to really live our faith. So, let’s honour one another’s searching. After all, as church consultant Tom Bandy writes: “The point of course is not to attract people into the institution, but to bless people in the name of Christ in ways uniquely relevant to their needs.”