The Crash is Coming


A friend sent me this email which links to the Crusty Old Dean bewailing the continuing numerical decline of The Episcopal Church (TEC):






Most of what he writes, makes sense to me. But until at least 20% of the TEC power structure agrees with his ideas, nothing will happen. I say 20% because it’s the minimum for voices dissenting from the status quo to compel attention to their views. Of course, there is a gap in time between 20% and 50.1% but we have to start somewhere.



In response, I wrote that I’m becoming increasingly pessimistic about Christianity in general and the Episcopal Church in particular:

·       The quality of leadership continues to decline, a decline compounded by some dioceses creating local alternatives to seminary (my anecdotal assessment);

·       There appears to be no increase in the number of congregations that are actually growing;

·       Too much money and other resources are wasted on governance at the diocesan, provincial and national levels (not quite as bad as in the military, but too many headquarters for the number and size of the frontline units, often siphoning the best leaders out of those frontline units for other positions);

·       Busyness masquerades as productive work and leaders resist naming that busyness for what it is, finding business as usual more satisfying and within their area of expertise than actual transformative leadership;

·       The continuing secularization of society (is Marianne Williamson’s candidacy for the presidency a final hoorah for widespread interest in spirituality – or self-help that is labelled spirituality – in the US?).



Some congregations are exciting places in which persons experience healing, community vanquishes loneliness, meaning displaces anomie and despair, the disadvantaged receive help and individuals live more abundantly. Unfortunately, these congregations seem few and far between, regardless of whether they display an Episcopal flag or symbols of another denomination or religion.

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