October 9, 2015

Episcopalians Continue Bleeding Members, Attendance at Alarming Rate

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is leaving office this month after a tumultuous nine years in office that saw significant conflict and numerical decline in the oldline church.

Statistics released this week by the denomination’s Office of Diocesan and Congregational Ministries indicate that Jefferts Schori is leaving her successor, Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry, with decline that is steepening rather than tapering off.

The church’s domestic U.S. membership dropped 2.7 percent from a reported 1,866,758 members in 2013 to 1,817,004 in 2014, a loss of 49,794 persons. Attendance took an even steeper hit, with the average number of Sunday worshipers dropping from 623,691 in 2013 to 600,411 in 2014, a decline of 23,280 persons in the pews, down 3.7 percent.

The numbers are significantly worse than 2013, when the church reported a 1.4 percent decline in membership and 2.6 percent decline in average Sunday attendance. One contributing factor is figures from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), the local Episcopal Church jurisdiction formed after the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina departed the denomination in the autumn of 2012. Updated figures from TECSC show that the body has 6,387 active baptized members and an average Sunday attendance of 2,812 persons. This is down 77 percent from the 28,195 members and 12,005 attendance average previously reported. The Diocese of South Carolina is one of five dioceses to depart the denomination since Jefferts Schori’s election, along with hundreds of individual congregations. The Diocese of South Carolina has accepted an offer of oversight from the worldwide Anglican Communion’s Global South and now functions independently from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church.

Other measures of Episcopal Church vitality also saw decline: the denomination reported the shuttering of 69 parishes and missions, down from 6,622 in 2013 to 6,553 in 2014. Children’s baptisms declined 4.8 percent from 25,822 to 24,594 and adult baptisms declined during the same time-frame from 3,675 to 3,530, a decline of nearly 4 percent.

The number of marriages performed was a rare bright spot, rising from 9,933 in 2013 to 10,337 couples tying the knot in Episcopal Church ceremonies in 2014. The church does not report opposite-sex and same-sex marriages separately in its annual table of statistics. Burials also nudged up slightly, from 28,960 in 2013 to 29,011 in 2014.

While the Episcopal Church has established a continued pattern of steady decline since the early 2000s, the unbroken trend is relatively recent: the church lost only 18,000 members in the 1990s, a plateau that dropped off about the time Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was consecrated the church’s first openly partnered gay bishop. Overall, the church has declined from a high of 3.6 million members in the mid-1960s to 1.8 million today, even as the U.S. population has more than doubled. The church has lost more than a quarter of its attendance since 2003.

In her opening sermon at the Episcopal Church’s triennial General Convention meeting this summer in Salt Lake City, Utah, outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori equated the denomination’s condition to Jesus’ healing of the bleeding woman and Jairus’s daughter in Mark chapter 5:

“We have lived for too long like that shamed and bleeding woman. She’s had to endure finger-waggers blaming her for her own illness. Anger and anxiety over membership loss in this church has frequently prompted finger-waggers to use that image of unstoppable hemorrhage – and it’s been going on for almost exactly 12 years, since we began to tell the truth about who we were and are and are meant to be.  We have consulted plenty of ecclesiastical doctors, without much relief – until we began to find the temerity to reach out and touch Jesus’ robe.  It’s the same Temple-filling hem we heard about on Friday. The bleeding began to be staunched when we found the courage to reach out and touch the face of God, to see God at work in new contexts, and to have the confidence to claim our experience of the divine presence.”

At the conclusion of her sermon, Jefferts Schori advised gathered church officials to “Pay no attention to the finger-wagging”:

“Turn around and look for the hem of Jesus’ robe. Go searching in new territory. Reach out and touch what is clothing the image of God. Give your heart to that search and you will not only find healing but become healing. Share what you find and you will discover the abundant life for which all God’s children have been created. And indeed, the Lord will turn weeping into dancing.  Talitha, cum.  Get up, girl – and boy, and woman and man – get up and dance!”


122 Responses to Episcopalians Continue Bleeding Members, Attendance at Alarming Rate

  1. Tony Seel says:

    But the bleeding continues. Apparently TECites are supposed to ignore the numbers also.

    • James Paice says:

      Yeah looks like Jesus hasn’t healed TEC. Hmmm. Wonder why?

      • Gregg says:

        Because they’re not reaching for the hem of Christ’s garment. They’re grasping for the hems of Caitlyn Jenner, Cecile Richards, Gene Robinson, and the mustachioed Amy Goodman’s garments.

    • Namyriah says:

      Bring up the subject of numbers, and they’ll scream “ALL churches are losing members!” It’s not true, but it makes them feel better.

      • Paul says:

        Actually, it is true. The only churches holding steady or growing are the Pentecostals and the Mormons. The former because people are attracted to emotional freakshows and the latter because Mormon mothers pop out babies like Easy Bake ovens.

        And for the record, I only label Mormons as “Christian” since most statistics offices do. I personally don’t believe they are.

        • Aaron says:

          Pentacostals have been on the rise numericaly since 1908.

          I believe alot of this is the unrelenting push for personal evangelism in many of the pentacostal groups.

        • Aaron says:

          Also its not the hyper charismatic over the top churches that are growing its the more grounded practical churches that see increase in numbers.
          Pentacostalism has extreams but to throw a blanket statment that they are all freakshows is kind of predjudice.
          I have met many down to earth well taught christians from every sect of traditional christianty.
          The question is why dont we find out what these groups are doing before all of the mainline denominations have to sell there beautifull facillities to the groups that have caught on to somthing.

      • Reason0verhate says:

        The basic rule is, the more they embrace homosexuality, the more Christians head for the exit. Everything works exactly the opposite of what the left predicts. Gays are not big donors, they just want a place to get married in.

  2. Trayvon Obama says:

    If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea
    Mark 9:42

  3. rangervr07 says:

    She has been a train wreck, a disaster in the making, from Day One. This what we get, what we deserve, for abandoning our core values and trying to be all inclusive, everything to everyone. It doesn’t matter what you believe, come and join our PC correct, make it up as you go theology.

    • Coniston says:

      All very true, but what are the comparable statistics for other denominations?

      • Michael Cannady says:

        Probably very similar, but who cares, another man’s (churches) suffering doesn’t make me feel better about mine.

      • wyclif says:

        It’s actually not comparable unless you limit consideration to other mainline denominations with similar attitudes regarding the downgrading of Christian theology and the uniqueness of salvation in Jesus Christ, the acceptance of homosexuality and other forms of sexual deviance, approval of abortion on demand, and engaging in lawsuits over church properties paid for by orthodox Christians.

        When, on the other hand, you look at evangelical denominations like the Presbyterian Church in America or the Southern Baptist Convention, or even the Roman Catholic Church, it doesn’t look at all like decline is a given. The takeaway is that churches that embrace doctrinal distinctives and Christian ethics seem to be growing and receiving the blessing of God.

        • Sappho says:

          The Presbyterians supported gay marriage before the Episcopal Church. Or is PCinA a schismatic group too?

          • Brad F says:

            You must be confused. The PCUSA (liberal, declining) supports homosexuality, the PCA (conservative, growing) does not.

          • wyclif says:

            You’re talking about PCUSA, which is the mainline, leftist version of Presbyterianism. So, mainliners. Not evangelicals with large, thriving churches and young families. Mostly grey-haired baby boomers. More burials than baptisms by far.

          • Ted Martin says:

            Presbyterian churches are in rapid decline too.

        • John Petty says:

          It’s not about liberalism. Conservative churches are declining as well.

          • Brad F says:

            Not all, and not at the same rates. The ACLU churches keep trying to spin liberal decline, and it won’t work. Evangelicals outnumber the mainlines, and that shows no sign of changing. The lefties sold out their churches to the anti-God culture, and look what it got them – empty pews. Promote abortion and sodomy and global warming, and watch those people head for the exit.

          • wyclif says:

            Conservative churches are *not* declining at the same accelerated rate that liberal churches are, that much is clear from the numbers. So, ahem, yes, it is actually about liberalism, since the signal and presenting cause of the decline has been shown to be liberal theology and social policy. If there is no differentiation between the church and the culture, and no salvific uniqueness of Jesus Christ, then why roll out of bed of a Sunday morn? That’s why liberalism matters in this discussion, and it won’t do for you to wave it away, as if it can be dispensed with so easily.

          • davend says:

            Some conservative churches are declining even faster that the Episcopal Church–for example the LCMS and NALC in the case of Lutherans—so conservative theology doesn’t necessarily guarantee growth or even membership stability.

            Catholic decline is difficult to measure because of the theology of “once Catholic, always Catholic.” However Pew recently published a study in this regard showing some pretty startling numbers. And CARA shows drastic declines in measures such as the numbers of baptisms, weddings and adult conversions.

          • wyclif says:

            But the *point* of this thread was never that there is no decline in other churches. The point is about the Episcopal Church and the *accelerated* rate of decline they experience compared to other churches. And that’s still true, and there’s really no way for you to get around it. Pointing to the LCMS or the Roman Catholic Church and saying, in essence, “pay no attention to that man behind the green curtain!” (i.e., TEC) is not going to work. TEC is in membership free fall. The numbers don’t lie, and they are experiencing the most dramatic membership and ASA losses by far. All because of TEC’s accelerated obsession with theological leftism, secularism, and unbelief.

          • Jeff Walton says:

            Davend, the NALC is growing. The denomination reports 140,000 members and claims to be one of the fastest growing Lutheran bodies in the world. Possible you were referring to the ELCA? Numbers are from here: http://thenalc.org/about-us-2/

          • davend says:

            NALC hasn’t updated their official numbers because in actuality membership has declined by around 4% over the last couple of years. And prior to that “growth” has come about by adding new congregations, not by adding new Christians–and the number of new congregations coming on board has dwindled to a trickle.

            All mainlines, conservative or liberal, essentially face the same challenge–increasing perceived irrelevance of Christianity in society and an aging population.

          • Jeff Walton says:

            I understand, Davend. Can you share the data that you are drawing from?

          • Reason0verhate says:

            Salvation is always relevant. The pseudo-religion the lefty churches are peddling is nothing but fads. When they all shut down that will be a blessed day.

          • chrism12743 says:

            John, you are wrong on this issue, conservative churches are doing just fine, thriving actually.

          • Ted Martin says:

            Not nearly as much though.

      • Xerxesfire says:

        Other mainline churches are bleeding, although perhaps not as quickly as TEC. PCUSA considers their decline to be “a new thing God has created”. LOL. I am not making that up either, crazy as that spin might sound. I think their leader Gradye Parsons missed his calling as an ad man.

    • Geoff Martineau says:

      I’d just like to point out that someone who uses a swastika as his avatar does not belong here.

      • Heil Hitler says:

        All men deserve Salvation through the Blood of Christ, you’re a servant of the devil…

        • Garrett says:

          Just wanted to let you know I have prayed for the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe in the state of your soul.

          • Heil Hitler says:

            You pray to spirits of the dead…

          • George Waite says:

            Do you get updates on the state of that person’s soul, from Kolbe or anyone else?
            Or was that just a passive-agggressive, “high minded” way to say “holier than thou”?

          • Garrett says:

            Hmm, that was a while ago, so I’m not completely sure. But I believe that was in reference to a commenter (whose comment is now deleted) with a swastika for an avatar and who commented something beyond the pale. So no, it was in fact sincere.

      • Jeff Walton says:

        Please pardon the delay in policing the comments — the aforementioned user has been blacklisted from commenting further.

    • Geoff Martineau says:

      This is an inappropriate avatar and screen name for this, or any site.

  4. yakko says:

    As our world becomes more secularized, churches that actually DO stand for something are struggling. Churches that stand for nothing, such as the Episcopalians, are nosediving.

  5. Sounds like Jefferts-Sciori turned the ECUSA from a legitimate Christian denomination into a pseudo-religious franchise chain that markets weddings and funerals to affluent homosexuals.

  6. Namyriah says:

    The analogy of the woman with the bleeding is good: healing could occur IF she put her faith in Christ – but it’s pretty obvious the Episcopagans have not done that and don’t intend to.

    Amazing this failed bishop could spin things so dramatically. Instead of blaming her apostate church (and herself) for its sins, she chides the “finger-waggers.” Hey, Schiori, don’t hate the messenger, we didn’t cause your decline.

    • Mars Attacks! says:

      If life inside the faith is exactly the same as life outside the faith, why would anybody bother?

      • My guess is the progressives like the affirmation that comes from recognition from a nominally traditional religious denomination, it feeds into their overweening sense of smug triumphalism.

        • wyclif says:

          It’s all about the civil religion for liberals. They’ve captured the apparatus of the church, which means they control the civil religion. That’s also why the Episcopal Church always gets massaged, positive write-ups in the Washington Post and New York Times: the clerisy loves civil religion.

    • John Petty says:

      Does your version of Christianity teach that demeaning others and being condescending towards them is the way to go?

  7. Jennifer P says:

    The Episcopal Church no longer really believes in anything. Much of the 2,000 year theology about who God is and how He sent His Son to save us is watered down or optional. Episcopalians have rejected the Bible as a source of any dogmatic teachings – whether about God or about sexual ethics. Instead they put their faith in man and his desire for there to be no right and no wrong. People sense this and leave.

    Episcopalians are not alone in their losses. All the denominations that replaced solid Biblical teaching with progressive relativism had had similar losses.

  8. Arbuthnaught says:

    Ideas have very real consequences. This is what happens when you put a lefty in charge on anything.

    • Carlton Kelley says:

      There is a great deal of theological confusion and misinformation in these responses. Numbers have never equaled faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ nor has keeping the status quo been a ticket into heaven. Jesus shows a distinct preference for the least, the last, and the lost and bids us not to fear or cast stones.

      • John Albertson says:

        Jesus did speak of numbers” “Go into all the world and convert all nations…” Weak excuses like yours are the protocol of generals who lost a war.

        • Carlton Kelley says:

          Conversion to Christianity and living in Christ does not mean agreeing in all things nor does it mean large numbers. Christians, for the first centuries of our existence, were, most definitely, in the minority.
          I believe that decreasing numbers reflect lack of original commitment without a socially accepted base for membership in the church. In all of this, we are still loved by God without exception and qualification. And, by the way, weakness is a Gospel value.

          • Bill Russell says:

            Christians who are being crucified and beheaded by Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria these days for refusing to renounce Christ are not weak. Mrs. Schori and her ilk who have renounced the authentic Faith of the Church have nothing to give their lives for, which is why what once was the slow death of the Episcopal Church is now a fast death. The only question left is, what will be done with their empty buildings and endowments. What happened to the promise of a doubling of Episcopal Church by 2020, which Mrs. Schori projected? Their denomination is dead and Episcopalians who remain are like those Japanese soldiers hiding in caves who did not know that they lost the war years ago.

      • Brad F says:

        Who are you kidding? There is no way to “spin” empty pews. Your side wins the culture war, but you lose the church war – big time. You keep saying that the churches have to adapt to a changing culture or people will flee – well, you adapted, and they fled from you.

      • Arbuthnaught says:

        Ministering to the least, the last and the lost can not be done if the core message has been shredded. The bottom line here is the integrity of the Gospel and the authority of the scriptures have been shredded by the left. True, numbers to not equal faithfulness. But being faithful means not destroying core concepts with post modernist gibberish. It is also possible that declining numbers might just well mean that he who has little is in the process of having what little he has taken away. I firmly believe that God sends people to churches where the integrity of the Gospel is maintained and away from churches where the integrity of the Gospel is not maintained.

  9. John Albertson says:

    Schori was a predictable disaster. And what about the envisioned flocking of new members when the homosexualist Gene Robinson was made a “bishop?” -since then the loss of members multiplied and Robinson even lost his own “husband.” Liberalism is a disease and in the instance of the Episcopal “Church” it is terminal. It is sobering to realize how a handful of miscreants could shatter nearly centuries of Christian practice. – Given property and endowments, the last Episcopalian – like the last Christian Scientist – will be very rich.

    • Xerxesfire says:

      Her 20/20 goal seems quite laughable in retrospect. Her vitriolic lawsuits against breakaway churches certainly didn’t set a good Christian example. Those churches paid for their own building upkeep, mortgages, etc. and the national church believed somehow it was all theirs. Hogwash! Interesting how evangelical denominations allow churches to own their own buildings, assets, etc. Liberal ones want to own it all.

    • Cathy R. says:

      I will start with I am Roman Catholic, but the plight of the U.S. Episcopal church, breaks my heart. I grew up with this church as, not the largest Protestant denomination, but most certainly the wealthiest and most influential church in the nation. The decline seems to show me, in yet another way, that my country is changing and perhaps declining as well.

  10. T_Ford says:

    I will have much to account for when I meet the Lord. But I don’t think I will be swapping my odds for hers.

  11. Xerxesfire says:

    Just imagine what the Episcopal Church would be like today if a conservative had been elected as Presiding Bishop, instead of KJS. Of course, this idea is pure fantasy – after 2003 no conservative would have had a chance at this position. Only a small handful of remaining bishops hold fast to traditional Biblical values, and they seem to be leaving TEC for the Anglican Church faster than you can say the word “apostasy”.

  12. Kyle says:

    If you want to see the contrast between a liberal seminary and a Christian seminary, contrast the essays required by Episcopal Divinity School and Beeson Divinity School.

    https://selfserv.eds.edu/SS//Admissions/Application.aspx?applicationformid=1

    http://www.beesondivinity.com/assets/1346/mdiv-mats_essays.pdf

    The Episc Div School asks for “Personal essay 2. EDS is committed to multicultural, anti-oppression dialogue, theological reflection, and prophetic action. These are starting points to analyze various forms of oppression and their intersections. Write a 500-word essay reflecting on how the ways in which gender, racial identity, sexual identity, class, ability, and/or other related issues may affect this dialogue, theological reflection and prophetic action.”

    Beeson Div School asks for an essay on the Apostles’ Creed.

    Two different mental universes.

  13. Robert S. Orr says:

    The Episcopalian Church is not Christian by any traditional definition. I don’t suppose its decline began with Gene Robinson…but it has continued…..

    “”On the Saturday after Christmas, the second ranking bishop of the
    Episcopal Diocese of Maryland was said to be drunk and texting when she
    steered her Subaru into the bike lane and plowed into Tom Palmero, an
    avid cyclist, husband, and father of two. With the passenger side of her
    car’s windshield shattered by the force of the accident, Cook drove on.
    Another cyclist caught up to the Bishop’s car at a stoplight and rapped
    on the window. Cook stepped on the gas and disappeared into her gated
    apartment community.

    The Bishop turned herself in on January 9th, and a tough
    judge set bail at an exceptionally high $2.5 million, noting Cook’s
    “indifference to life” and calling her a flight risk.

    Cook was stopped because her car was clunking along on a tire so flat
    its rubber was stripped to the rim. Cook had vomit on her blouse and
    reeked of alcohol. The arresting officer found a liquor bottle and a
    stash of marijuana, and Cook wobbled so much during a field sobriety
    test that the cop cut it short.””””

  14. dailypenny says:

    This is the sort of nonsense (Jefferts) that would easily drive a sane Episcopalian elsewhere. Yet we are asked to believe it is the future. She has been a disaster, and has spoke for only a small section of the EC, the rest she misunderstood willfully.

  15. Nyla Y Morrison says:

    This is what happens when the Episcopal Church in North America changes its name to the Progressive Episcopal Church in North America and turns a blind eye to the counsel of the Arch Bishop of Canterbury who asked that the Canon Law NOT be changed regarding same sex persons being married in the Church due to the Supreme Court ruling this year. The online edits from the Salt Lake City Convention in The Canon Law crossed out the word “Holy” in matrimony and crossed out “marriage between one man and one woman” and replaced those words by “marriage between two people.” Some church members believe in traditional values and the traditional marriage, and that may be another reason why the membership roles are declining.

  16. BarryObama2014 says:

    The Episcopalian Church was the church to belong to in the early decades of our Nation, you were a nobody if you weren’t an Episcopalian, and NOW nobody is an Episcopalian. Liberals destroy religion

  17. leader4hru says:

    The rapid decline in the Episcopal Church began in 1979, with the destruction of Apostolic Succession and the gutting of the BCP, and it has been dramatic every year since. Continuing to report the inclusion of membership of dioceses and parishes that have left produce inflated numbers of members, and continue to fool the remaining inmates. The 3.6 million members was accurate in the 1970’s but the 600 thousand is the most accurate now, and the 1.8 million published number is a farce. The vast majority of parishes have insufficient membership to maintain their parishes and the closure of parishes will dramatically accelerate. Closures also provide dioceses the opportunity to grab the assets (both cash and selling property) for the remaining rats on the ship, thereby postponing the inevitable. When you don’t believe in God its better to read the newspaper, or enjoy a round of golf on a Sunday morning instead.

  18. MidwestNorsk says:

    Haven’t darkened the doors of an Episcopagan outlet in 5 years, and never will again. Not for any reason. Ever.

  19. OhJay says:

    Michael Curry is a game changer. He may not reverse all the ills of TEC, but you better believe he will reorient the church toward discipleship in Jesus Christ.

    • Paul says:

      Under Curry’s leadership in North Carolina, his diocese grew. When Schori was Bishop of Nevada, her diocese either stayed the same or shrank a little bit. That’s no coincidence.

      • Jeff Walton says:

        Interestingly, both states experienced significant population growth during the past decade, but the Diocese of Nevada experienced membership decline while North Carolina grew.

  20. MM says:

    It’s all about God hatred. That’s the proclivity of all sinners. Believers in Christ try not to hate God, but humbly love Him. Non-believers (most in the mainlines and straight-up atheists) hate God full out. They just don’t call it that. Such a forthright acknowledgment would be unattractive and, obviously, indefensible and foolhardy. Therefore, they skulk around like Satan, attempting to ascend to the Most High or seeking some pedestrian to devour. The Left Episcopalians are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  21. RolandDay says:

    The Presbyterian Church (USA), with its left-leaning, pro-homosexual orientation is declining even faster.

    Both the PCUSA and the Episcopal Church have abandoned Scripture in favor of the popular culture.

    • Karen Grizzell says:

      I have been a Presbyterian most of my adult life and it’s for that reason that I am thinking of leaving the Presbyterian Church.

      • Paul says:

        It all depends on congregation/district, really. If you’re in a church or district (or diocese or presbytery or whatever) in the South, Great Plains, or Industrial Midwest, your church is more likely to be orthodox. The churches in the major cities and on the coasts are the ones that are more likely to be theologically progressive.

      • Arbuthnaught says:

        Go to the Presbyterian Church in America or Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians and look for a congregation near you…. today……

  22. Clayton says:

    I’m not so bothered by the EC’s liberalism, but I find it very hard to understand why Katharine Jefferts Schori spent $40 million she didn’t have to sue congregations to take away their property. And then refuse to sell it back to the members, even if that meant leaving the building empty. That, my friends, is a wicked human being.

    Can the Episcopal Church come back unless it apologizes and asks for forgiveness? I don’t think so.

  23. Anneke9 says:

    Pay no attention to the finger-waggers? How about the writing on the wall?

    • Whatever says:

      I think God has been sending some very loud messages to the liberal churches for a long time, but they don’t listen. I wonder if they ever thought of doing something rational, like maybe calling up ex-members and politely asking, “Why did you leave?”

  24. Paul says:

    The installation of Curry will be a new day. It’ll be like going from Carter to Reagan.

    • Reason0verhate says:

      Nope, the Episcopagans will continue to decline. Christians flee churches that become clubs for homosexuals.

      • Paul says:

        I belong to the Republican Liberty Caucus. It’s former President, Dave Nalle, goes to a pro-gay Episcopal congregation in Texas. It’s flourishing.

        • DanH says:

          Go ahead and play the ostrich game.
          Your denomination is shrinking, and it’s only going to get worse.
          Once you gals take over a church, the Christians flee.

          • Paul says:

            Even disregarding the Episcopals and PCUSA, there are plenty of *pro*-gay churches that are [i]thriving[/i].

            GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, with Pastor Stan Mitchell.
            New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California, with Pastor Danilo Cortez.
            First Baptist Church of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, with Pastor Jim Somerville. However, I don’t think he’s accepted gay marriage yet.

            And that’s just three.

          • darh477 says:

            Yes, “that’s just three.” And none of them are Episcopalian.

            Look at the numbers for your whole denomination and see if you notice a trend. The body is in the casket, they just need someone to close the lid and shovel the dirt.

          • Paul says:

            Well, those churches tend to be more evangelical in nature. There’s an evangelical wing in our church (of which I subscribe), but it’s not quite as large as the other wings.

          • Carlton Kelley says:

            I wonder how many people in this conversation have real Scriptural or theological training? It really seems as though the main point it to beat up on members of the GLBT community.

          • Xerxesfire says:

            Probably more than you think. One doesn’t need to attend seminary to understand the Bible. Its teachings are as clear as day. Again, no beating up of anyone here, simply speaking the truth in love.

    • DanH says:

      It will be like going from church-shrinker A to church-shrinker B.
      Within 20 years, the Episcopagans won’t even exist. Hallelujah.

  25. “Pay no attention to the hole in the hull of the ship. Strike up the band instead!” One bright spot for TEC: they still have more members than the PCUSA.

  26. TJPW says:

    Surprisingly Christocentric exhortation in defense of the heresy of Episcopalianism (or whatever we want to call it). I’m genuinely impressed. Although I believe they are indeed hemorrhaging members because of their false beliefs, Bp Schori is quite correct that that alone is no reason to give up hope.

  27. Gene Ellefson says:

    Time for the true Christians of the episcopal church to rejoin the mother church (Catholicism)….they will find it much more suitable and biblical….which is why the media hates the Catholic church…..

  28. Carlton Kelley says:

    I agree that there are clergy in the Episcopal Church who care little for Jesus Christ as he is presented in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. There is great danger in that position. However, I don’t believe that sexual ethics is or ever has been a “core concept.” We can certainly welcome and embrace members of the GLBT community without fear of weakening the grace of God to us. As a gay priest in a supportive diocese, I firmly believe we have much to offer the world that is central to our identity as Christians.

    • darh477 says:

      Your embrace of the GLBT community accounts for the phenomenal growth of your denomination. How about your particular congregation? Are you finding yourself cramped for space, feeling the need to add more parking spaces and more pews? A church that tosses aside sexual ethics ought to be extremely appealing, so you must be adding new members by the hundreds. The Episcopalians have so much to offer, that’s why new Episcopal churches are sprouting up like mushrooms all over America.

  29. Carlton Kelley says:

    I must wonder why there is so much hate directed to the Episcopal Church. Have any of you posting these remarks been hurt by the Episcopal Church? Are you trying to hide something painful?

    • Whatever says:

      The religious left never passes up an opportunity to bash conservative Christians, so if there’s a gold medal for hating, I think the mainlines definitely win.

      No one hates Episcopalians, they’re just a joke. They take a man who dumped his wife and kids so he could sleep around with men, and they made him a bishop. He married a guy, dumped him too, now he goes around telling Christians that the big moral issue is the use of fossil fuels. A scumbag engaged in a lifestyle that is clearly condemned in the New Testament is lecturing the rest of us on Christian morality, which is a bit odd, considering the Bible never says one word about fossil fuels. They had a woman bishop who was an alcoholic and a pothead, she ran over a bicyclist and killed him, then fled the scene of the crime. I’d say a church with such vile people as leaders has some major issues to deal with, such as not being Christians.

  30. Carlton Kelley says:

    I am sure that there is not one denomination that has not had its problems with alcoholic members and leaders. The church by the way is a hospital for sinners – even those of us who believe we’re not. I still find the level of hate interesting and puzzling.

    • Xerxesfire says:

      No one is hating on here. We’re only calling out things as they truly are. The Bible calls it speaking the truth in love. Why do liberals always say disapproval of sin is hate-filled? I find that to truly be interesting and puzzling.

  31. chrism12743 says:

    I used to attend a little Episcopal church in Rhode Island, St. Alban’s church in centredale, now shuttered. I remember when the Gene Robinson debacle hit, we lost approx. 25% of our parishioners, and from then on we just kept losing people. I know this may sound misogynistic as well as chauvinistic, but the advent of female priests has hurt the church. One example is the female priests in Cleveland BLESSING an abortion clinic and thanking God for the services they provide, might as well bless Auschwitz while they are at it. Homosexual marriage was my final straw, there is no way I can think about going back to the Episcopal Church, and it is really a shame, I really enjoyed the fellowship.

    • Ted Martin says:

      I do not disagree with you, I only wish it were not true. I actually think Robinson was a very selfish man to do that to his church…….Keep it in the closet? Sure why not, not everything has to be done for all to see.

  32. Silver says:

    She is horrible. They put her in so she would wreck it and start all over. She did a good job of wrecking it.

  33. Ted Martin says:

    Not sure about other areas, but United Methodist churches in the Miami, Fl. area have horrible attendance, I have seen several of them close or merge. Feeling “tired” of the horrible decline of Episcopal churches in Miami, I have tried Methodist,,,,,and they seem even worse, here anyway.

  34. fusilier says:

    Will the last one to leave the room, kindly make sure the windows are locked, and turn off the lights.

  35. johnsmart says:

    As a man born into the ECUSA who has recently finally given up on it entirely i must say that my reason for leaving is actually not directly because of politics as I actually lean left – it is because the “Jesus” being pushed by PC doctrine is utterly and completely useless in my day to day life. I mean this. He’s actually depressing.

  36. Rick Schisler says:

    I have read all the comments and am disheartened by those who seem to be truly hurt or angered at the direction that The Episcopal Church is going. What I have gathered is that most are totally against “the evil Left” or what is perceived as “those liberals” who have extended the love of Christ to persons that they do not believe deserve it and have stormed out of their churches over it. I hear the hurt but wonder why. Jesus associated with tax collectors, prostitutes, rough fisherman, lepers, women (who were not considered as good as men in that day), and those who his society deemed undeserving of the love of God. He just loved them. He wrapped up all the liturgy, the pomp and circumstance of the high religion of the day and said, “It’s pretty simple: love God, love your neighbor, love yourself.” I’m looking for a church that does that. I am not wanting a church that is mad that some now are included that they don’t think should be. There are so many lost and wounded people who just need to be loved. Thanks for all the comments. I am sorry for the many hurt feelings and hope the anger subsides, but if The Episcopal Church is trying to actually open the doors wider, maybe I will give it a try.

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