US Episcopals Having Hard Times


#1

Episcopal religion writer David Virtue reports the following national denominational statistics for 2003 – which are very likely to be even worse when the 2004 reports are in next December. He reports:

Attendance statistics for the Episcopal Church USA in 2003 reveal a church in continued steep decline with nearly 36,000 active baptized members leaving for greener theological pastures, a significant drop from 8,000 on 2002. Another 24,000 Sunday worshippers left the ECUSA last year, more than twice the previous year.

In 2002, the church claimed a membership of 2,320,221. In 2003, it was down to 2,284,233, the church officially declared.

If this walkout of 36,000 – while evangelical denominations continue to grow – seems grim, the next statistic is horrendous: Some 85 parishes closed their doors – 7,395 in 2002 to 7,220 in 2003.

How much effort and financial sacrifice in building and maintaining all those parishes is now lost?

That is more than twice the number of parishes that exist in the Diocese of New Hampshire, the majority of whose clergy and laity elected Vicky Gene without any apparent concern about what so many of their fellow Episcopalians regard as a biblical abomination.

Further statistics:

  • Average Sunday attendance in 2002 was 846,640. In 2003 it was 823,017.
  • The percentage of churches with any increase in average Sunday attendance also dropped from 39 percent to 34 percent.
  • The most startling figure was that the median average Sunday worship attendance of all Episcopal churches across the whole country is 77 members (down from 79).

Despite all this, Bishop Robinson was a special guest on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” which program was fair enough to allow one of Robinson’s fellow bishops, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, to appear with him.

Bishop Duncan told the nationwide broadcast:

The purported statistics do not bear out vs. Gene Robinson’s view that the acceptance of homosexuality would make churches grow.

In a question from Terry Gross, who asked whether gays and lesbians coming into the church were counterbalancing folks who were leaving, Duncan responded saying: “The latest statistics show we lost 36,000 members last year, three times what we lost the year before.”

worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42104


#2

I have a question we know that the Episcoapl church is in decline and shrinking but where are they going are they going to mainline churches, to the catholic church or to evangelical churches. As the Episcopal church is really a niche church it would be interesting to know. Many members do not even consider themselves protestant but catholic.

THe Liberals in the church fail to recognize that most non homosexuals really don’t care to much about homosexual acceptance within a church structure. Many people want them to be accepted on eqaul terms in society but would leave it up to churches to follow their own understanding of the matter. Many more yet do care that traditional christianity not change its moral teachings. Considering heterosexuals make up around 92 percent of the population and 8 percent are homosexuals. Whatever gains you make in the second category would be more than offset by the loss of the majority.


#3

[quote=Maccabees]I

THe Liberals in the church fail to recognize that most non homosexuals really don’t care to much about homosexual acceptance within a church structure. Many people want them to be accepted on eqaul terms in society but would leave it up to churches to follow their own understanding of the matter. Many more yet do care that traditional christianity not change its moral teachings. Considering heterosexuals make up around 92 percent of the population and 8 percent are homosexuals. Whatever gains you make in the second category would be more than offset by the loss of the majority.
[/quote]

Also consider that a minority of the homosexual population is probably even less likely than the average American to be interested in church membership. So you are appealing to a minority of a minority. I don’t know why the Episcopalians thought that encouraging homosexuals would somehow result in a large membership increase. The UCC seems to be betting on that same horse. I doubt if either will come in.

I volunteer at an Episcopal church that brings in some excellent speakers. They are definitely in decline, membershipwise, and thus are augmenting the coffers with speakers and workshops.
Lisa N


#4

The Episcopalians have been on the downhill slope since the Lambeth Conference of 1930 when they were the first Protestant denomination to declare contraception permissible. Since the Episcopal cave-in, all other Protestant denominations have followed until the Catholic Church stands alone – a sentinal of veritas.

Since then, this same Episcopal Church has approved the extermination of the unborn by abortion, ordination of women priestesses, homosexual marriage ceremonies, and now sexually active homosexual clergy of both genders who have permission to keep their “partners” handy in the rectory. They’re now trying to make homosexual marriages legal.

Have I overlooked any other “benefits” the Episcopal Church has brought to Christianity recently? I want to be sure to give credit where credit is due.

JMJ Jay


#5

[quote=HagiaSophia]Episcopal religion writer David Virtue reports the following national denominational statistics for 2003 – which are very likely to be even worse when the 2004 reports are in next December. He reports:

Attendance statistics for the Episcopal Church USA in 2003 reveal a church in continued steep decline with nearly 36,000 active baptized members leaving for greener theological pastures, a significant drop from 8,000 on 2002. Another 24,000 Sunday worshippers left the ECUSA last year, more than twice the previous year.

In 2002, the church claimed a membership of 2,320,221. In 2003, it was down to 2,284,233, the church officially declared.

If this walkout of 36,000 – while evangelical denominations continue to grow – seems grim, the next statistic is horrendous: Some 85 parishes closed their doors – 7,395 in 2002 to 7,220 in 2003.
[/quote]

== Sumwun, hoo iz ovviusli uneddikated, karnt do eezi sumz. The difference between those two last figures is not 85, but 175. ==

How much effort and financial sacrifice in building and maintaining all those parishes is now lost?

That is more than twice the number of parishes that exist in the Diocese of New Hampshire, the majority of whose clergy and laity elected Vicky Gene without any apparent concern about what so many of their fellow Episcopalians regard as a biblical abomination.

Further statistics:

  • Average Sunday attendance in 2002 was 846,640. In 2003 it was 823,017.
  • The percentage of churches with any increase in average Sunday attendance also dropped from 39 percent to 34 percent.
  • The most startling figure was that the median average Sunday worship attendance of all Episcopal churches across the whole country is 77 members (down from 79).

Despite all this, Bishop Robinson was a special guest on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” which program was fair enough to allow one of Robinson’s fellow bishops, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, to appear with him.

Bishop Duncan told the nationwide broadcast:

The purported statistics do not bear out vs. Gene Robinson’s view that the acceptance of homosexuality would make churches grow.

In a question from Terry Gross, who asked whether gays and lesbians coming into the church were counterbalancing folks who were leaving, Duncan responded saying: “The latest statistics show we lost 36,000 members last year, three times what we lost the year before.”

worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42104

== What are the Catholic figures for the comparable phenomena ?
Something is wrong with a treatment of stats that attributes them to a single cause. Life is seldom, if ever, that simple. ==


#6

I suspect that with the talk of secession and endless conferences it may be like the War Between the States; the issue was states rights but it was “slavery” that drove the question.

According to the article immediately after the ordinations money and membership both dropped off, it looks the “straw which broke the camel’s back”.


#7

[quote=Gottle of Geer]== Sumwun, hoo iz ovviusli uneddikated, karnt do eezi sumz. The difference between those two last figures is not 85, but 175. ==

== What are the Catholic figures for the comparable phenomena ?
Something is wrong with a treatment of stats that attributes them to a single cause. Life is seldom, if ever, that simple. ==
[/quote]

Well it took me a while to figure out your first statement. Originally I thought you’d put your fingers on the wrong keys and didn’t preview your post. OK, I get it.

As to the second paragraph, while I don’t think you can point to the ordination of Bishop Robinson as a single cause, it does seem to have been a real flashpoint that made for deep and possibly irreconcilable differences. I recall when Robinson was named a Bishop and the resulting brouhaha was pooh poohed as “well they did the same thing when we ordained women…” but so far the furor has gained strength rather than subsiding. I don’t think this is just going to go away.

FWIW I think the Methodists watched and as a result their decision in the recent case of a homosexual minister was to remove her from her church and defrock her. Had Robinson been welcomed with open arms, there may have been a different decision. I suspect if nothing else other churches are going to move more slowly with respect to this issue as a result of the fallout from the Robinson case. JMO.

Lisa N


#8

[quote=Maccabees]Considering heterosexuals make up around 92 percent of the population and 8 percent are homosexuals.
[/quote]

May I ask, where on earth did you come up with those statistics?


#9

Dear Lisa N., What does it mean to “volunteer at an Episcopal Church?” :confused:

And who are some of the “excellent speakers?” :confused:

God bless,

Anna


#10

In nomine Jesu I offer you all peace,

All I can say is that I have long been a great admirer of the Anglican Communion ever since I realized that C.S. Lewis was Anglican. I attribute my conversion to him and his wonderful works. I though to myself, no denomination which borne such fruit could be wrong. Unfortunately, the modern Anglican Church simply has no place for C.S. Lewis any longer and I am embittered over that loss.

May God guide us all to his truth in Jesus Christ and away from our own innovations. Amen.

Peace, Love and Blessings.


#11

[quote=chrisb]In nomine Jesu I offer you all peace,

All I can say is that I have long been a great admirer of the Anglican Communion ever since I realized that C.S. Lewis was Anglican. I attribute my conversion to him and his wonderful works. I though to myself, no denomination which borne such fruit could be wrong. Unfortunately, the modern Anglican Church simply has no place for C.S. Lewis any longer and I am embittered over that loss.

May God guide us all to his truth in Jesus Christ and away from our own innovations. Amen.

Peace, Love and Blessings.
[/quote]

Have you read C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church by Joseph Pearce? It appears that Lewis became more Catholic, the longer he was Christian. We know from his Great Divorce, and Prayer: Letters to Malcolm that Lewis was “almost Catholic.” I recently ordered Pearce’s book and haven’t had time to read it since it arrived. I and a lot of others have wondered what kept C.S.L. from crossing the Tiber. Perhaps this book has the answer – or an educated guess.

JMJ Jay


#12

[quote=InigoMontoya]May I ask, where on earth did you come up with those statistics?
[/quote]

May I ask, too?

According to Canadian census data, and numerous studies, 1.5 to 3.5 per cent is the range that’s accepted, not 8%.

Blessings,

Gerry


#13

[quote=Katholikos]Have you read C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church by Joseph Pearce? It appears that Lewis became more Catholic, the longer he was Christian. We know from his Great Divorce, and Prayer: Letters to Malcolm that Lewis was “almost Catholic.” I recently ordered Pearce’s book and haven’t had time to read it since it arrived. I and a lot of others have wondered what kept C.S.L. from crossing the Tiber. Perhaps this book has the answer – or an educated guess.

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

In nomine Jesu I offer you peace,

I would love for you to enlighten us once you’re finished reading it.

I know he confessed to a cenfessor and all sorts of Catholic, Orthodox, Anglo-Catholic stuff. Clearly he believed the truth of Christianity rested among these “liturgic” practices.

Peace, Love and Blessings,


#14

[quote=InigoMontoya]May I ask, where on earth did you become up with those statistics?
[/quote]

Those were the numbers that were presented to me in my college sociology class and textbooks. There are such a wide range mof beleifs and numbers on how many people are hetero and homo that nobody really knows. But I was just going by what colleges use as numbers. I am sure any number could be debunked as each study has an agenda and a certian skewing of numbers.


#15

[quote=Maccabees]Those were the numbers that were presented to me in my college sociology class and textbooks. There are such a wide range mof beleifs and numbers on how many people are hetero and homo that nobody really knows. But I was just going by what colleges use as numbers. I am sure any number could be debunked as each study has an agenda and a certian skewing of numbers.
[/quote]

I can almost guarantee that your college text book used the statistics from Kinsey. A known Crowley-Church of Satan supporter. Even the the horrible doctors admirer’s admit that his numbers and techniques for aquiring them were horribly flawed, I dare not mention how he came up with some of those numbers.

Yet… we still see those statistics mentioned as true… :frowning:


#16

[quote=Maccabees]Those were the numbers that were presented to me in my college sociology class and textbooks. There are such a wide range mof beleifs and numbers on how many people are hetero and homo that nobody really knows. But I was just going by what colleges use as numbers. I am sure any number could be debunked as each study has an agenda and a certian skewing of numbers.
[/quote]

Statistics are EVIL:D


#17

[quote=Anna Elizabeth]Dear Lisa N., What does it mean to “volunteer at an Episcopal Church?” :confused:

And who are some of the “excellent speakers?” :confused:

God bless,

Anna
[/quote]

Anna they have many speakers and I volunteer taking tickets which allows me to attend the talk. Among the BEST speakers were Fr. Keating and Fr. Arico. They have had Huston Smith several times. They tend to feature authors and scholars. It’s very ecumenical with everything from Buddhist monks to Catholics to Sufis. Really not very many from their own tradition. Recently they have featured several Biblical archeologists. I am amazed how much is being found even now. Somehow I thought most of the areas have already been excavated.

Lisa N


#18

[quote=Katholikos]Have you read C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church by Joseph Pearce? It appears that Lewis became more Catholic, the longer he was Christian. We know from his Great Divorce, and Prayer: Letters to Malcolm that Lewis was “almost Catholic.” I recently ordered Pearce’s book and haven’t had time to read it since it arrived. I and a lot of others have wondered what kept C.S.L. from crossing the Tiber. Perhaps this book has the answer – or an educated guess.

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

It offers an educated guess, mildly supported, and not dogmatically asserted: that Lewis was prevented from submitting by a residual anti-Roman Catholicism, from his Ulster days. This tacitly implies that a man of Lewis’ learning and insight could not fail to become an RC for any objective, theological reasons, but from personal, illogical ones. It is not a convicing book, partaking as it does of a form of the “personal heresy” to which Lewis objected in his professional work, but it is an interesting book, and I often recommend it. Lewis did indeed move, within the Anglican spectrum, toward a more Anglo-Catholic position during his life.

GKC

Anglicanus Catholicus


#19

[quote=Gerry Hunter]May I ask, too?

According to Canadian census data, and numerous studies, 1.5 to 3.5 per cent is the range that’s accepted, not 8%.

Blessings,

Gerry
[/quote]

4 - 6% are the proportion of Americans who will tell a pollster they are gay or homosexual.


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