A clear indication that the religiously-allied men’s movement is continuing its growth is found in the increasing sales of books on that general subject and the rapidly growing popularity of Christian retreats centering on rites of passage and initiation.
Although the Promise Keepers was written off by much of the media as a dying revival movement when the organization laid off most of its employees in February, it seems the prognosis was premature — PK has already rehired many of its employees. Although it is too early to forecast PK’s future, the Christian men’s movement continues to find a hearing, as well as take on diverse expressions. Robert T. Morley s book, The Man in the Mirror has sold now over 300,000 copies, and Promise Keeper head Bill McCartney has his book Sold Out: Becoming Man Enough to Make a Difference reaching beyond 150,000 copies sold, according to Publishers Weekly (May 13).
The founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico, Fr. Richard Rohr, reports in Sojourners magazine (May-June) a solid increase of attendees of fathers (and sometimes godfathers) and early teenage sons seeking passage into adulthood through specific religiously oriented rites. Rohr’s program consists of a four-day gatherings in rural surroundings with small groups on a one-to-one basis.
Participants bring only survival items plus a journal for reflection. Much of the organized program revolves around story-telling, the sharing of past wisdom as an initiation rite into adulthood. Time is left for meditation and group recreation.
(Sojourners, 2401 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009)
— By Erling Jorstad