Yesterday, I mentioned before the “passing of the peace” in the first service that I had recently read some statistics in The Christian Century that said the majority of people didn’t like passing the peace. I went back looking for what I had read and found that I was wrong. The article was in The Christian Century, it did say that the majority of people don’t like passing the peace, but it was Garrison Keillor and not statistics that provided the data. Here’s the bit I read in the September 4, 2007 edition of The Christian Century:
“PASSING THE PEACE—OR NOT: Thee are two kinds of Americans, according to humorist Garrison Keillor. One is the kind who, when a big and smilely preacher says from the pulpit, “How about everybody turn around and shake hands with the person behind you and give them a big howdy!” will do what the preacher says and feel uplifted by it. The other is the kind who will do anything to avoid this, even miss church entirely. Even though the world thinks the first kind of American is typical, there are actually more of the second type (Chicago Tribune, August 15).”
I know that there are members of our congregation who attend regularly but don’t like “the passing of the peace.” My concern now is: what if Garrison Keillor is right and we have people who don’t attend, or don’t attend regularly, for that reason.