Contact: Becky Hodges, 970-292-4245, [email protected]
LOVELAND, Colo., June 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- A new documentary film that reveals the decline of the American church focuses on the spiritual climate in Reading, PA.
The film, titled "When God Left the Building," will be screened June 14 at the Carlisle Theater in Carlisle. The film's director, Thom Schultz, will accompany the film and lead a live talk-back session following the screening.
Schultz, said, "The American church as we know it is dying. What was once the heart and soul of the community is going away. We wondered why. And we wondered what's next."
According to Schultz, the majority of churches across the country are in a state of decline. He said weekly church attendance has dropped to 20 percent of the population. This trend has resulted in the closing of 4,000 churches per year, he said.
The filmmakers spent three years documenting a church that saw its attendance plunge from 900 to 40. "It was a heart-wrenching mash-up of societal upheaval, spiritual confusion and human conflict," Schultz said.
The film also prominently features the unconventional work of two Pennsylvania churches, Mohn's Hill Community Church in Reading and Community Evangelical Church in Sinking Spring. Those churches provide a weekly conversation café outreach at Off the Avenue Café in West Lawn.
After the West Lawn "Lifetree Café" got established, Mohn's Hill member--and Reading police officer--Nathan Matz sought to establish a similar weekly gathering in Reading. But because his friends like to congregate after work at a bar, he asked his church to consider starting an outreach at Canal Street Pub.
The film documents the church's struggle with the thought of mixing ministry and "strong drink." Matz describes the gritty reality that he finds on the streets of Reading. He says that churches need to venture beyond their walls to meet the real needs in the community.
A preview of the film is available at WhenGodLefttheBuilding.com.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. film screening on June 14 are available at WhenGodLeftTheBuilding.com and at the Carlisle box office the day of the film.
The film was produced by Group Productions, a Colorado media company.
Questions about the documentary may be directed to Becky Hodges at (970) 292-4245 or [email protected].
Images and interviews are available upon request.