"IT'S KNOWN SIMPLY as the 'Y' to most people, but among some of the 5,000 YMCA leaders gathered [in Nashville, Tennessee, in late July] for their national convention there's a growing movement to 'lift up the C.'

"The Young Men's Christian Association was founded 150 years ago to provide Bible study and a helping hand to down-and-out men. In recent decades, however, YMCAs have become better known for their family fitness centers than their Christian outreach programs.

"And that's not an entirely positive shift as far as YMCA executive directors such as John Alexander are concerned. 'Unfortunately, people look at us and just see a swim and gym,' said Alexander .... 'Many people are uncomfortable with religion, and I understand. But it's a Christian organization. It's nothing to be ashamed of.'

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

September 18, 2006

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.