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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Less connected

We don’t get together like we used to do. The Saguaro Seminar of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., says “social interactions” have declined over the last three decades.

Frayed ropeThe League of Women Voters lost 42 percent of its members since 1969. PTAs nationwide plummeted. Membership in 30 mainstream organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and 4-H Club dropped precipitously. While soccer is growing, most other forms of youth athletic participation are on the decline.

In 1975-76 the average American attended some club meeting once a month. Now 58 percent of all Americans attend only five meetings a year.

Fewer people trust civic and governmental agencies. And lives are more complex with two-career families (formerly women were the leading volunteers).

Those born after 1930 are far less “civic” or likely to volunteer than those born before 1930. People aged 30 to 59 are less likely to volunteer for things today than they were in 1975.


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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