It is hard to believe that nearly five years have gone by since we came back to the New England states.

We have been reminded over and over again that New England continues to be a challenging mission

field. In a recent Gallup poll, the Greater Springfield, Massachusetts area was listed as 10th in the na-
tion as the least religious metropolitan area. Five of the top ten least religious areas are located within

a three hour drive of Springfield. This is demonstrated in many ways including the lack of Sunday

worship participation, the closure of hundreds of Catholic and mainline Protestant church buildings,

and the marginalization of traditional Christian values.

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Newsletter 8