I asked my 19-year-old son to take some photographs for this blog. Check out his handiwork below.

I am intrigued by subtle differences in his perspective. He and I are photographing the same island, but he sees it through different eyes. I can’t define the differences yet. Maybe you can. But it’s important for me to see that his perceptions are quite different from mine, even when we are looking at the same things.

Hudson River, by Will Ehrich


Q: Do you think part of the problem with the mainline church is a desire and a nostalgia for it to return to its identity of the 50’s and 60’s and not looking ahead to the 21st century?

A: I think that, as people age, they often remember younger days with a certain fondness. My parents remembered the clarity of World War Two, simple rituals of romance, car trips with children, and big band music. My generation remembers early rock and roll, proms, first love and first cars. And so it goes.

It so happens that those running churches nowadays tend to be Baby Boomers, who have vivid memories of the 1950s and 1960s, when much seemed simpler (mainly because they were younger then) and churches seemed healthier (mainly because children were shielded from institutional stresses.)

The 1950s and 1960s weren’t a “golden era” to which religion must return. Much of the institutional strain we are experiencing now actually took hold in that very era.

The key, I think, isn’t to wallow in nostalgia or to disparage nostalgia. What we need are fresh ideas, fresh energy , and fresh awareness of emerging needs. Nostalgia as such isn’t our enemy.