By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
One 70-year-old member called the church leaders’ decision to fold in order to start a new congregation “age discrimination.”
A United Methodist church in Minnesota has put the spotlight on widespread generational challenges across the county, with many leaders trying to attract younger people without alienating the elderly members who are the backbone of their dwindling congregations.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently suggested in a headline that the Cottage Grove church will “usher out gray-haired members in effort to attract more young parishioners.” But the Rev. Dan Wetterstrom, its head pastor, said Tuesday that allegations of age discrimination unfairly represented the strategy for a church that has been on the decline for two decades.
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