New England gave some glory days to American evangelicalism. The First and Second Great Awakenings started there. From D. L. Moody’s Northfield (Mass.) conferences in the nineteenth century, the Student Missionary Movement arose with the goal of “evangelizing the whole world in this generation.” From its schools have emerged some of the great Christian thinkers.

But in recent times, New England has gained a reputation for being spiritually cold. Of its 12.5 million population, an estimated 3.5 million are unchurched—40 percent of all residents over the age of 18. Its people are known for self-reliance, but also for a stubbornness about spiritual things.

A number of New England church leaders would like to see another awakening of the Spirit across their corner of America. More than 300 of them, representing 34 different denominations and all six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts), gathered last month in historic Sturbridge, Massachusetts—close to where, more than two and a half centuries earlier, parishioners had entered Jonathan Edwards’s Northampton church as sinners in the hands of an angry God and emerged burning with zeal to evangelize the New World.

At their three-day New England Pastors’ Conference, participants prayed for spiritual renewal in New England, and discussed strategy on how best to accomplish that goal. They passed a resolution setting aside the first Friday of every month for prayer and fasting for revival in New England. Then, to translate conference spirit into action, they authorized a committee to take responsibility for conference follow-up.

That so many evangelical pastors and church leaders had temporarily joined together was regarded by ...

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