Community and taking on bigger issues

In the article “Organized Religion in a Voluntaristic Society” by Nancy Ammerman, she talks about Robert Wuthnow’s idea of the issues in the world are so daunting that some tend to do nothing at all. She then talks about how churches with more community service aspects tend to get more followers. Through the church followers are then able to feel that they are able to take on the more daunting realities of our world and 1) get involved and 2) gain the feeling of making a difference. I found being assigned this reading funny in some odd way, because this is also the opening week of Sense and Sensibility that is being put on by our theatre department. Now the play itself might not have ties to this idea but the process and intent of the actors are exactly the same as those who join churches for the volunteering aspect. Most actors and participants of theatre, definitely do not go into this field for the pay, but they participate because they also see the issues of our current world and want to take on these problems. The idea of faith is not limited to just religion. Theatre doers, religious or non religious volunteers, rely and actively practice faith, in the sense that what they are doing really is helping. This pushes me to agree with Ammerman’s argument against Robert Putnam’s view on the state of voluntary organizations in the US. If we try to be too narrow in our research we will always be painting a “gloom and doom” picture for society. If we use a wider scope for our research you will see how many people as a whole are using volunteerism and theatre as a way to improve the world, we have to look at movements or volunteer projects at a much lager scale and relate them to separate events that are pushing for the same thing.