By Melissa Wuske
Connecting Women to the Church
A new study by the Barna Group found that the percentage of women who don’t attend church is growing—alongside the overall decline in church attendance. In 2003, around 33 percent of adults were “unchurched” (hadn’t been to church in the last six months), and 40 percent of those were women; in 2015, 45 percent of adults are unchurched, and 46 percent are women. While this may seem like discouraging news, the study found several factors influencing to the decline in women’s church attendance, and theses insights can prove valuable for churches.
One factor in church attendance is women’s priorities: 68 percent ranked family relationships as their top priority; church or religious activities were a distant second at 11 percent; and 10 percent listed personal time as their first priority. Additionally, busyness keeps many women from church; 48 percent of women feel they’re overcommitted—but 22 percent of women said they want to increase their engagement in church and religious activities.
Emotional support is also a factor in women’s church engagement: only 17 percent of women feel very emotionally supported at church; 23 percent feel somewhat supported. Additionally, many young women want to get married and have children, but they’re doing so later than previous generations; these women, who are struggling to connect their faith and their professional lives, are likely not interested in engaging in family- and marriage-focused ministries.
God’s Healing in Uganda
Susan, a young Ugandan, was 13 years old when she decided to follow Jesus. In response to her new faith, her father beat her and locked her in her room for six months. There she survived on food her brother gave her in secret. Eventually her neighbors began to worry, and she was rescued by police—emaciated, too weak to walk or talk. Now, more than five years later, after many surgeries, she is living at a boarding school and growing healthier each day with the help of Voice of the Martyrs.
Susan’s growth and development are still hindered by the malnutrition and abuse she suffered, but she has hope and determination and her faith is growing. “I love school and I work very hard,” Susan said. “I find difficulty sometimes, but I have learned to struggle through. I believe that one day I will be able to walk. I sometimes try walking with one crutch and if I keep trying, I will eventually walk.”
Cutting Food Waste
It’s no secret that the best-looking fruits and vegetables are the ones that get displayed and purchased at grocery stores. “Most consumers buy their fresh products based on aesthetic criteria: If the product looks good, then it must taste good,” said Patrice DeVilliers.
The result, though, is a lot of food waste. Last year in France, discarded “ugly” fruits and vegetables accounted for 40 percent of the country’s total wasted food. To curb the waste, the French grocery Intermarché created the “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” campaign. They offer less-than-beautiful, but still good, fruits and vegetables at a discount and created an advertising campaign—for which DeVilliers was the photographer. The program is now part of all 1,800 Intermarché stores.
The Commute of the Future
It’s really happening! Lexus has created a hover board that, according to the Lexus SLIDE website, “uses magnetic levitation to achieve amazing frictionless movement. Liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible.” No word yet on when it’ll be consumer ready—or how much it’ll cost.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).