This is the finding of a recent study conducted by researchers at Baylor University, the University of Southern California and the University of Chicago. The study , “United by Faith? Race/Ethnicity, Congregational Diversity, and Explanations of Racial Inequality,” was published in the journal Sociology of Religion. As you can imagine, it has gotten some people talking as the results are regretful. It seems that the cultural diversity represented in the pews does not suggest that there is diversity in perspective or leadership. Instead of opportunities for collaboration, the study finds that the attitudes of the cultural majority dominate.
While I respect the research and I cannot argue with the facts, I remain hopeful that our faith communities can change. For me, this presents a review and evaluation of our efforts to live reconciled with one another. And less we be disillusioned or confused by the appearance of togetherness, this study proves that there is more hard work to do.
Because it is not enough to sit together or to sing together if we cannot freely talk to each other. We cannot raise our hands in worship together and not hold hands while walking together. We must strive to be one people with one voice able to say together, “For God so loved the world…”
If eleven o’ clock remains the most segregated hour, then we are all talk and frankly, time’s up for that.