Posted on Sat, Mar. 02, 2002

Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?

The truism that Americans don't stay in one place for long applies to worship -- a survey last year of 350,000 people in 50 denominations found that nearly one-third have changed congregations the past five years.

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey uncovered some other interesting insights into worship in America:

• Women in the pews outnumber men, 61 to 39 percent.

• Thirty-eight percent of worshippers have college degrees, compared to 23 percent of the U.S. population.

• Fifty percent of those surveyed said they had prepared or given food to someone outside their family or congregation during the past year. Twenty-nine said they had loaned money to someone outside their family.

• Eighty-three percent of people in the pews said they attend services regularly, usually every week.

The $1.3 million survey was funded by the Lilly Endowment and Louisville Institute and sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Ken Garfield

© 2001 observer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.