For Busy Christian Families in Minnesota, Wednesday is the New Sunday

The Rev. Ed Treat led a Wednesday night service at Transfiguration Lutheran Church in Bloomington.
The Rev. Ed Treat led a Wednesday night service at Transfiguration Lutheran Church in Bloomington.

As churches across Minnesota try new ways to accommodate the hectic lives of the faithful, Wednesday night services have emerged as a popular option.

Each Wednesday, the Latzke family heads to their Bloomington church for an evening of religious education and a worship service. Sunday is too packed to squeeze in church, so now Wednesday is their day — as it is for thousands of busy Minnesotans.

“Wednesday is the new Sunday,” is what some clergy call this trend reflecting the scheduling quirks of modern families.

“This works really nice for us because we’re so busy on weekends,” said Robyn Latzke shortly before the service at Transfiguration Lutheran Church. “She dances, and she plays volleyball,” Latzke said, pointing to her daughters.

“And I farm on weekends with my brother,” added her husband, Jeff Latzke.

As churches across Minnesota try new ways to accommodate the hectic lives of the faithful, Wednesday night services have emerged as a popular option.

For churches that already offered religious education on Wednesdays, adding a worship service was a logical fit. For others, a Wednesday service helps folks who travel on weekends, hold down jobs, or schlep children to hockey, soccer and other events.

“The on-demand culture has affected church people as much as society,” said Scott Thumma, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

Keeping folks in regular attendance is critical, as irregular churchgoing often fizzles into no churchgoing, Thumma said. Mainline Protestants, those most avidly embracing Wednesdays, have seen a steady decline in attendance. Median weekend attendance at U.S. churches, for example, dropped from 129 people to 80 from 2005 to 2015, according to the institute. The study advised: “To grow, distinguish yourself from other congregations.”

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SOURCE: Jean Hopfensperger
Star Tribune