New England's tough winter is starting to make headlines — on the religion beat.
The Associated Press reported over the weekend:
BOSTON (AP) -- Religious leaders in snowbound New England are beginning to ask themselves how on Earth their houses of worship will make ends meet after all these acts of God.
Churches, synagogues and mosques report attendance is down at services, as poorly timed winter storms have hit on or close to days of worship. And getting the faithful to come out is challenging, with limited parking and treacherously icy sidewalks plaguing the region.
For many places of worship, that has meant donations are drying up just as costs for snow removal, heating and maintenances are soaring.
"You have this perfect storm of people not being able to go to worship and so not bringing in offerings, combined with much higher than usual costs," says Cindy Kohlmann, who works with Presbyterian churches in Greater Boston and northern New England.
The AP lede's emphasis on "churches, synagogues and mosques" drew this response from Ira Rifkin, one of my fellow GetReligionistas:
Hmmm ... just the big three, once again. I believe the Boston area has more Buddhist centers than any other city in the nation (needs fact checking). But even if not, it's just the big three. America's more diverse than that.
Interesting point, and honestly, not one that would have struck me on my own. Alas, Massachusetts does have more Buddhists than Muslims, according to a 2010 demographic report by the Association of Religion Data Archives.
Still, give AP credit for a timely, enterprising religion angle on the weather.