Jan 13, 2023Liked by Addison Del Mastro

This bit from the 2nd link reminds me of Shabbat. Wherein among other things observant Jews won't drive anywhere Friday evening -> Saturday.

_What if a group of able-bodied drivers in a congregation agreed not to drive alone on Sundays, not to park near the front of the church, and not to drive at all when that’s an option? Imagine the impact of their solidarity with the people in the congregation who can’t drive_

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So much of the Christian population is rural and driving to town/church is what you do on Sunday. If you drive around Virginia's back roads, apart from Episcopal churches (many of which served as parish seats before the Revolution), you'll find an array of other denominations represented as well. Either in small towns or by themselves (perhaps with a rectory or pastor's residence next door), they require transport. Historically, church was followed by activities for kids and adults. I once attended the Plains, Georgia Baptist Church with Amy Carter during her dad's campaign - if there's anywhere more rural than rural Virginia, it's rural Georgia!

We had Sunday School before, then the service, where Jimmy preached, and then something after. It was extremely long for an 8-year-old used to the mercifully quick Episcopal service. (And probably longer because it was in the home stretch of the campaign.) But that is what unites much of rural America.

Synagogues and Catholic churches outside of Maryland tended to be built in cities with immigrant populations, so walkability is more doable. In Richmond there is an Orthodox Community in the West End on Patterson Avenue which observes Shabbat, and walking also creates community within the city (which I saw in Paris and NY as well - but not at synagogues in tony parts of Nashville or Northwest DC).

Granted, a lot of the old white board churches are shuttered due to outmigration, declining religiosity. But when I drove from Charlottesville to Columbus in August, I saw plenty of them that looked well-used in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Some people may never know if they're at church because of God or for community. Perhaps they are the same thing.

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