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McMass Project Aims to Put McDonald's Restaurant in a Church

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A McDonald's restaurant sign in Del Mar, Calif., on April 16, 2013. Reuters file

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The priest gives you a communion wafer, then a sip of wine, then asks: Would you like fries with that? The situation sounds insane (and it may well be), but if one group’s crowdfunding campaign is successful, it could become a reality. A group of three friends calling themselves “The McMass Project” has launched an IndieGoGo page trying to raise $1 million to build a McDonald’s franchise in a church, possibly in New Jersey or the Philadelphia area.

Is this a joke? No, vows Paul Di Lucca, one of the multidenominational group’s members. “Christianity is unable to capture modern audiences,” he argues. And, as the project’s website states, McDonald’s restaurants “bring communities together.” A McDonald’s representative could not be reached for comment.

While the percentage of Americans who say they “seldom” or “never” attend religious services has only grown 4 percent in the last decade, Americans are increasingly disavowing religious affiliation. The McMass Project is accordingly encouraging Americans to “pray different.” Whether or not his group raises the million dollars, Di Lucca hopes to start a larger conversation about modern Church-going. “There’s a lack of innovation and lack of design thinking in Church communities,” he said. “We are aware a lot of people will think this is an insane idea,” Di Lucca concedes — and thus far he’s right. At publication, The McMass Project had raised $77 of its $1 million goal.

IN-DEPTH

— Jake Heller

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