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December 5th, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Baby boomers heading back to seminary

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– At 51, Vincent Guest could well be the professor at a table filled with 20- and 30-year-olds. He is leading a lunchtime social justice meeting for seminarians at Theological College at Catholic University in Washington.

Forks clink on plates in the basement conference room as Guest opens the November meeting in prayer. "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," he says as he bows his head and clasps his hands.

Guest is not a visiting professor. He is a seminarian, just like the other younger men at the table.

But he is not alone in his age group. According to a decade-long study of enrollment by the Association of Theological Schools released in 2009, the fastest-growing group of seminarians include those older than 50. In 1995, baby boomers made up 12% of seminarians, while today they are 20%.

"I think I was always looking for something else in a lot of ways and always felt the call to do something else," Guest said.

He spent time in government and Pennsylvania politics before settling into a career in law. He had a three-bedroom home near the Jersey Shore with a meaningful job as an attorney helping the poor.

Though successful by any measure with a job that made a difference, he kept looking.

“Helping people with domestic violence, you know suffering from domestic violence or immigrants who were being deported ... I just saw their brokenness. In so many different ways, they were broken. And I know they needed to be touched by the love of God,” he said.

The feeling that something was missing led Guest to Theological College to study to become a parish priest in Camden, New Jersey.

Vincent Guest, right, leads a social justice meeting at Theological College.

“Ministry, whether that be a priest or a minister or a rabbinical student touches people’s lives at the core, where God is where it’s most meaningful. I think people grasp that and are searching for that," he said.

Guest, who never married, was good candidate to become a priest. As a young man, he enrolled in the seminary for a few years to become a priest before leaving to experience life.

It is a journey that has played out similarly for a lot of baby boomers.

“Many of them felt a call early in life, maybe in their teenage years or college, and set that aside to be the bread winner for the family or do what the family expected them to do,” said the Rev. Chip Aldridge, admissions director at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.

The Methodist seminary, which boasts students from 40 denominations, has also seen a rise in baby boomers in the last decade, making for some interesting classes.

For many of the boomers who went to college in the analog age, they have to get up to speed in a hurry to learn in the digital era.

"Everyone has to be able to use online academic tools. ... They've got to be very comfortable with technology," Aldridge said.

The majority of seminarians are still in their 20s and 30s.

"You've got two very different kinds of rich experiences when the baby boomers and the millennials come together in the classroom setting," Aldridge said.

"Yes, the baby boomer may have had a career, two careers, has raised a family, but millenials are coming from these colleges where almost all of them have some overseas studies, almost all of them have been on some kind of volunteer mission; they speak a second language. So in some ways those two sets of life experiences complement each other, and it becomes a very rich conversation," he said.

One benefit, unseen a decade ago when boomers began returning to seminaries, was the impact they would have on shrinking mainline denominations.

“They’ve got a little bit of that financial burden taken off them because of a previous career behind them," Aldridge said. “We’ve got a lot of churches that would not have been able to have a full-time pastor unless these baby boomers are returning to study and are raising their hand and saying, ‘Send me to those churches because I’m ready for something quiet in the country or outside the beltway.’ "

It’s a working retirement plan that skips the beach house.

“Whose got time to lie on the beach? There’s so much going on out there," Leah Daughtry said.

Daughtry, 48, is a former senior staffer for the Democratic National Committee who ran the party's 2008 convention in Denver.

As her secular career was slowing down, she started ramping up a spiritual one, taking the pulpit at House of the Lord Church, a Pentecostal church in Washington.

Leah Daughtry studies at Wesley Theological Seminary library in Washington.

Like many boomers, she kept working a 9-to-5 job during the day and took seminary classes at night to bolster her theological knowledge.

On a bright November afternoon, she was pouring over books in the library for her thesis. She even was mastering paperless photocopying, using a USB thumb drive in combination with a photocopier at Wesley's new library.

She chuckled as she considered when some of her classmates were born. "I'm glad that I came later in life - after I had a chance to experience some things and experience some knocks in the outside world before coming to this sort of secluded space of seminary."

For Daughtry, it's natural for boomers to return to seminaries.

“We came of age at a time of activism and doing something, where you want to roll up your sleeves and be involved in something, somewhere," she said. "I don’t think we’re people who check out, and would be happy sitting on the beach in Florida looking at the sun. There’s something in our ethos that craves involvement with the world around us.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (653 Responses)
  1. ProudChristian

    Why does it matter to you athiest how people worship? The thing I hate about athiest is that you all try to force people to follow your beliefs. Sorry, but I do not see you all as different from those with dogmatic beliefs. Keep your opinions to yourself, and the religious people shall keep our opinions to ourselves.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jon

      I'll try to be as unbiased as I can here. Atheists as a whole have problems with people who accept faith with no fact or reason. It's the equivalent of believing there are invisible aliens on your couch. You have no proof to deny the claim but yet you would have to be insane to believe that the aliens exist.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • J.W

      An atheist who tries to force others to be atheist is not a true atheist.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Greg

      Why does it matter to you Christians why people don't believe? The thing I hate about Christians is that you all try to force people to follow your beliefs. I see you all as different from those with rational beliefs.

      Keep your Christian opinions to yourself and atheists will keep our opinions to ourselves.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • ProudChristian

      I know you atheist and agnostic very well. And I understand your belief, but some of us find peace with our religion and no one can take that away from us. While you all believe that when we die, that we are going to rot in the ground, but my belief is that there is another realm that we will enter. If you want science, remember that matter cannot be created nor destroyed.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Lou

      I am afraid there is a mistake in your comment – what athiests really want is for people to follow their non-belief. Like it or not, GOD and the belief of a higher being is the most fulfilling of feelings.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • ProudChristian

      Science cannot explain all things. If you atheist believe that we will rot in the ground, when we die, that is your own PERSONAL belief. While I have my own beliefs. In GOD we TRUST.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      All we wonderful Atheists state is that we see no evidence to support your claim that a god exists. I don't hate religious people, I welcome them in to my home regularly (my best friends are Catholic). I have a great dislike for the fact that christians and any other that believes in a deity of any form thinks they have the right to push it in public and preach it to our children. Practise as you wish but keep it out of politics and the public view.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Jon

      It's not about belief or fulfillment. It's about facts and evidence. And there is none towards religion. While there is tons of evidence denouncing numerous things in the bible. If the presence of God helps you live, then good for you. But don't go around preaching that Christianity or Islam is in is any better than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Know What

      Proud Christian: "If you want science, remember that matter cannot be created nor destroyed."

      Our thoughts, feelings and personalities are not "matter". There is no evidence that they "live on" past the death of the body.

      December 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  2. erich2112x

    Nuclear war, contraception, abortion, gay marriage.....but on the issue of pedophilia they continue to stonewall.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  3. meagain

    Agreed. It beats the Haight-Ashbury scene sleeping on the floor with no food, no plans, no nothing. A great way to retire, give back, and feel useful.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  4. A-one

    Santa and God..... really??? come on Daniel from Canada ... Don't you have homework to do? Get back to researching your 5th grade history project and stop surfing the CNN web page!

    December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • B-one

      Shut the f**** up you bible thumper!

      December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jon

      At least Santa brings presents. God sends you to a place of fire and burning and torture and eternal pain for breaking a single rule out of his book. Santa by far and large is a much more likable person than God.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Daniel in Canada

      I know, that was a low blow to Santa. At least he brings gifts!

      December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      5th grade history actually teaches you useful stuff unlike the buybull! Santa and God=both fairy tale creations

      December 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • stephen

      Those of us who follow and keep the testimony of Jesus have experienced God personally. even still DNA proves God exists The most complex code ever discovered in our blood stream, and no transitional forms ever found in the fossil record proves evolution false. Read the paper the descent from natural selection signed by about 200 scientists stating the darwinian theory's can not explain the complexity's of Life. The scripture states " the heavens are declaring the Glory of God day and night." Jesus the christ was born 2000 years ago thru the virgin mary as stated in the historical records of scripture. additionally jesus is also mentioned in extra biblical sources such as the writings of josephus the jewish historian. Jesus is a real historical figure and archeological findings have supported biblical storys. We will all stand before the Judgement of GOd. Those who will not accept Jesus payment for their sins will have to pay themselves. THe cost for our sins is eternal punishment. Tommorow is not guaranteed and we have all broken GOds commandments and are alll guilty. But thanks be to God your sins have been paid for and the gift of eternal life extended to us all. We must in response admit out guilt and recieve Jesus christ as lord. as the scripture states "the wages of sin is death but the gift of GOd is eternal life to all who recieve JEsus.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  5. McJesus

    An excellent way to retire with full coverage and soak up the tax free benefits. You get a place to live and expenses are covered. All you have to do is talk about magical nonsense all day to an eager, unquestioning, and receptive audience wanting to hear about talking snakes and winged humanoids on cloud tops.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Curious

      Have you ever had close contact with clergy of any sort?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Cassie

      @Curious, Wow! You really need to take your blinders off.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

      You obviously don't know any clergy worth a damn.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • bob

      If that's what you think its all about – you are about as ignorant as those you criticize (and by ignorant I mean "lacking in knowledge of the facts"). "Winged people on clouds"? Come on. Read some philosophy of religion, or better yet Christian theologians and philosophers like William Lane Craig to get to what real christianity is all about – it is very reasonable, rational and dare I say makes more sense than atheism (which, when you really understand it, pretends that the entire universe popped into being out of nothing without cause and that morality and the notion of right and wrong is nothing but subjective wisps of ether with nothing to ground it – read Nietzsche to find out what atheism is really all about.)

      December 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • McJesus

      @ Curious – Yes, I had close contact with a priest once. When I was 7. It felt icky.
      @bob – I am glad you know what 'real(tm) Christianity' is about. Which one of the 3000+ denominations have it 'right'? May I ask? Unfortunately for you, most of us Atheists tend to know more about the lore of world religions than those who follow the religions themselves know. The difference being that you are also an atheist. The only difference being is that I take atheism one god further than you do.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Curious

      bob- wasn't Nietzsche a bit of an elitist? Surely not atheism for the common man?

      December 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Curious

      McJesus – One of Dawkins' "gentle pedophiles"?

      December 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Howie76

      See what happens when you tell the truth. They all get mad.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  6. meagain

    Boomers always gathered in groups with other people. The latest generations "gather" virtually via text messaging, tweets, various electronic "connections." Boomers like people stuff, hence the calling to work with people not technology.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  7. Gordon

    I think half the crop of presidential candidates shows incredible evidence that there is no god. They claim they talked to god and he told them to run for President. I think every single one of them that made this claim (Bachmann, Cain, Perry) is pretty much dead as a candidate. So, either god tells people to run knowing that they will crash and burn for laughs or they're all delusional.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Jon

      One could argue that talking to god is just delusional. If you believe in gold and all that... God has a Divine plan and he has already decided who will be the future president. I highly doubt that the almighty God who can see all and do all would bother talking to some schmuck and telling him to lead millions of people. But then again, if god did exist why not just run the country himself.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Curious

      Is this evidence that there is no god or evidence that political mountebanks are common?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Daniel in Canada

    You'd think the opposite would be true. After all, the older a kid gets, he/she does eventually realize Santa Claus isn't real. You'd think Boomers would be old enough to figure out god is just as "real" as Santa.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Peter

      he isn't real to you Dan...its the sixth sense....like sight is a sense ...but not if your eyes are gone! earts tuned to a certain frequency spectrum.....eyes to a certain light spectrum....the heart or spirit to another spectrum....your 6th sense is inactive! you are legally blind in that respect!

      December 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jon

      Wow. Peter. Wow. Wow.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Jim

      I always think it's ironic that leftists, who are generally pretty abstract and creative in a good way, when it comes to God are the ones who can't imagine anything they can't actually see. You guys really are the flatlanders. And are you better off for it? Not really. Your intolerance of religion is just as vile as any other intolerance, only you think yours is better.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Cassie

      What?! Santa Clause doesn't exist?! What next? The Tooth Fairy?! LOL But I agree with you. Why the older generation is still grasping onto fairy tales totally amazes me.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Cassie

      @Jim - Really, Jim? Picking on Daniel because he's in Canada? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Racist . . .

      December 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • McJesus

      The Leprechauns are VERY upset that not enough people wear green. Therefore we must make it law for everyone to wear green. We are required to stone violators to death by decree of the head Unicorn in Chief.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  9. A-one

    What attracts all you anti-Christians to a site or story about people trying to use themselves for the good of something? I know of people that got involed with religion from being a person of faith not because they had a tramatic event happen.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      They hate their parents who were Christians. Their kids will hate them for being atheist dou chebags.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  10. Peter

    don't affiliate genuine Christianity with this stuff....the genuine element isn't avalable in school, it's a calling that one can identify as a kid already....(personal experience) America is so deprived of the genuine element of Christianity that these critics have a right to give these opinions about Christianity....they have only seen and beheld an artificial likeness...the loser in all this? you! who havent been made privy to reality and instead have been exposed to this vomit show on tv and other media outlets faking something they they no ZERO about!

    December 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  11. TheyNotHim

    It still amazes. Seminary is the equivalent of teaching a journalism class using The Enquirer as a prime example. The Bible has no meaning because it is a random collection of fairy tales, hence organized religion is just a cult of personality worshiping the almighty dollar.

    ...and I'm still waiting for somebody to offer proof that Jesus actually existed...still waiting...

    December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Cassie

      Ah, yes. Jesus. The biggest cult leader ever to have 'lived'. I just consider him to be the main character of a collection of REAL early science fiction stories.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • jwk

      Cassie, what about prophet Muhammad?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ed, Spring TX

      Truer words have never been spoken by anyone who doesn't have the slightest clue what they're talking about.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      What about Muhammed? Atheists looooove Muhammed.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jim

      How many random collection of fairy tales do you know of that have lasted thousands of years? None. If they had no meaning, nobody would be interested in them for so long, or they would be in the "obscura" section of the few remaining bookstores left in this country, like most of the other meaningless religious books written by idiots. But, the Bible is still the most published book on the planet, and read and enjoyed by so many people, some of whom are smarter than you. And there's nothing you can do about it.

      The fairy tale is that you think you're smarter than everyone. And, that fairy tale doesn't even have a happy ending.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Cassie

      @jiminycrick; @jwk, Geez, read the Bible much? Jesus is the main character of that fairy tale collection. Mohammed is in the Quran.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • jwk

      @Cassie, are saying is that since Muhammad is in Quran he was NOT a cult leader?

      December 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Shadowflash1522

      @Jim
      I have two words for you: Aesop's Fables.

      A random collection of fairytales, attributed to (but in no way actually created by) one semi-mythical author who lived thousands of years ago...any of this ringing a bell?

      Which is not to say that such tales have no value, but come on - do tortises and hares literally engage in footraces?

      December 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Jim

      @shadowflash – Very good! Except Aesop's fables are exactly that: fables. Conceived as such, and received as such. On the other hand, much of the Bible is the telling of a history of a people. Which is increasingly proven accurate by archaeology, and the histories of other peoples. Not intended as fables, and not received as such. See the difference?

      December 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  12. TG

    Human's were created with the capability to have spirituality, a recognition that we are the product a Master Designer. However, though many feel this need, most will never comprehend the deep meaning of the Bible. Many associate intellectual knowledge, as gained though academics, with understanding and unlocking the Bible's almost unfathomable secrets.

    However, Jesus said in prayer to his Father: "I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to babes."(Mat 11:25) Later, he told his apostles, as to why he used illustrations: "To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted."(Matt 13:11)

    Going to a seminary will not open the door to grasping the Bible, for seminaries have continued to teach the errant doctrines such as the trinity, hellfire, immortality of the soul, Jesus as being one's personal savior, that all good people go to heaven, that God is nameless, among just few.

    The book of Isaiah gives the only direction to come to know God, for at Isaiah 2:2, 3 , it says: :"And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all the nations must stream. And many peoples will certainly go and say: “Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem."

    December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • lolwut

      shocking that we're living in the 21st century and people still talk like this.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      lolwi- I guess we should shuck Shakespeare out, too, eh m or on?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  13. Hatred

    I love to see vindictive, hatefilled athiests. Le's me know it's not the end all be all of progressive thought.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • TBN

      You're right!! religions have never given anyone a reason to be vindictive or hateful... Oh wait... Never mind.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • lolwut

      im so hateful, i hate things like women's rights, gay's rights, not stoning my children to death....oh wait a minute, that's christianity/islam.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Hatred

      Did I say I necessarily supported religions? Nope, and there some one goes making assumptions again. I thought truth seekers were all about the facts? I guess not when they become a lot like those they claim to disdain themselves.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chikenlips

      progressive thought is understanding the difference between "organized religion" and God. The first was created BY MAN in order to control behvior in the name of God. The second no man, or book written by man, which they all are, know anything about.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • lolwut

      both gods and religions are man made. it's quite obvious.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • TBN

      You mentioned atheists. Skipped the logic classes I see.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Hatred

      Chickenlips, that's probably one of the smartest things written here.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chikenlips

      if you are a jew, you are an athiest to christians. If you are a christian you are an athies to muslims....on and on and on, MAN HAS NO RIGHT TO SPEAK FOR GOD....when will "religions" understand that.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Hatred

      I'm sorry, I thought maybe someone so smart would be capable of a little abstract thought. Didn't know I had to color inside the lines for you, I'll dumb it down next time.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chikenlips

      again, God surely has no time for hate predjidice and violence...I'm sure i am boring all by saying again, "religions" are mans insturments surely not Gods. If "they" were God's...there would only be one and we would all nknow it as such without any debate...let alone war.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      Pol Pot was an aethist. I think his children are blogging now...lol

      December 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chikenlips

      @lolwut your assumption that God is man made makes you no different than say a catholic that says his "religion" knows God. Flatly denying His existance, and prothlatizing your opinion makes you as arrogant as and fire and brimstone preacher out there.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Chikenlips

      @hatred that comment was not directed at your initial post...no dumbing down needed...it is understood....we in fact very close to agreement.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Hatred

      I'm pretty sure that if we had a text that God wrote himself we wouldn't necessarily be too happy in the end. I think the best part of the whole thing is faith itself. The speculation that goes into the wondering about the reality or realities around us, whether they be multidimensional, ethereal, plainly phsycial, or metaphysical. I think that any kind of blocking into a particular mindset is pretty dangerous, especially when done on a massive scale. As large as the universe is, in the end if it has its limits or we find out exactly what our own limits are in it, I think some of us may find that it is only a cage, and whether or not people are saddened by that perspective or empowered by it will probably be the next great philiosophical debate of our time.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Hatred

      @chickenlips, I know, I was responding to TBN.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  14. Reved

    I am retired Presbyterian clergy. I entered the ministry at 26 and retired at 65. Over the years I spent many hours serving on a church committee that evaluated candidates for the ministry. One piece of research missing from your article is this: How many of the over 50 seminarians turned to the ministry following a traumatic incident in their lives and thought God would heal them if they served her?

    December 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Cassie

    I find it absolutely amazing that people still believe in a bearded old white guy floating above the clouds, knowing our every thought. Wake up, people!

    December 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Jim

      We don't. You may think we do, but that's your bias.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      woohoo....we bow to your greatness!

      December 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • kurt

      No one has ever believed in a "bearded old white guy floating in the clouds" you callus, rude person.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  16. meagain

    "the greates generation" is the World War II generation. Just for clarification.
    Boomers were the most politically active and radical demographic in the US since the founding fathers. It makes sense to me that they now want to get involved in a different way for the same reasons. Change the world, help the underdog. Politics has become so corrupt the only way to reach people is through service which is dominated by religious groups. Boomers can make an impact and change the world - maybe even change religion as we know it.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Generation Z American

      cool story bro

      December 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Jim

      Better yet, maybe exposure to the religion of their forebears that they expressly forsook, would change them instead. They've done enough damage changing everything in their own image.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  17. A-one

    The time will happen at the hour of death, the last minutes of life that you will cry out from the inner depths of your being for God to help you the fear will be immense. Maybe God will treat you as you have treated him. Don't feel sorry for yourself because you will be forgotten by friends and family over time. You will not be forgotten in the next life if you can help it. Miracles happen throughout are universe every second. Look around you ... you think this is done on accident? You think the combinations of events that happened from the beginning of time that led you up to reading this blog isn't a miracle? Be as children ... faith and belief is something not from this dimension or world. The prophecy has been written about Jesus many years before he was ever born. Something are just to complicated for coincidence. Man's science is shallow and far from understanding many things. Open your eyes and your heart. Read your history books in combination with your bible youll find that everything is relative and the church (Roman Catholic) has had it's bad times but the word and teaching never change. These things are bound in Heaven. Yes that "fairytale" place created by OUR FATHER.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Cassie

      HA! When you die, you're gonna be buried in the ground. That's it. No heaven, no hell. Just a cold, dark hole.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Generation Z American

      when you die, nothing happens.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      I'm not afraid of death because I know that there is nothingness awaiting me on the other side. I can not imagine a more appropriate ending to a full life but that ultimate peace of nothingness. Frankly spending eternity with a jealous vengeful hate filled bigoted warmonger like your god just does not sound appealing, but have fun with that if you feel the need...

      December 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      Generation Z American.....................Prove it.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Steevo

      I'm afraid you've been drinking the Christian kool-aid too long to have any idea of what reality is.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  18. GodIsImaginary Dot Com

    Christards

    December 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • jiminycrick

      Yo mama so fat she rolls to work.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  19. mikemazzla@yahoo.com

    Hmm not married, lives alone, over 50. Priest seems to be a great fit

    December 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  20. Howie76

    It is an easy way to make a living. The church members pay for your home, insurance, retirement benefits package, you work 5 to 20 hours a week and that is about it at least in the Methodist Church.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Neil Norman

      Howie I do not know your source of info whehter it is your own or someone conveyed it to you. But I find your response very humorous. I have served as a pastor for some 30 years and I do not ever recall having a 5-20 hour week. I many times put in 50-55 hour weeks counseling, working with volunteer outreach efforts, preparing for Sunday worship, visiting the sick and dying and continuing to comfort families of both situations. And in addition I serve in various ways in the community in which I live, also in a pastoral role. I also purchased my own home and I also pay one half of my families health insurance. I might add that I am also a United Methodist pastor. I just felt compelled to correct your information which in large part is incorrect.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Howie76

      Are you a Deacon or a Elder?. The Deacons do work the Elders do very little. This would be in the Florida Conference and if you go to the annual meeting it is all about their benefits. Been there and have seen it first hand. They get theor college payed for as well. It is a great gig. They need to live like the people they serve.

      December 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Howie76

      SHould we let the folks at your Grandbury know what you wrote? Was it the truth and the whole truth. Is your home comparible to your poorest members home?? Do you get a housing stipend? DId you ever live in church housing??so you could save for your home??? How much is 1/2 of your insurance 50.00??? How many of the people in your congregation have no insurance. Do your associate minister d anything???Also what do you consider work??? Going to lunches and talking with folks is not work. You guys have it easy. How much will you get in retirement compared the members of you congregation???

      December 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.