Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Is the Episcopal Church dying?
Let me ask a question: Is the Episcopal Church dying? I don't think so. It isn't the biggest denomination, but it has a rich history.
Did you know that more than a quarter (26%) of US Presidents have been Episcopalian. The list includes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush. (Leaders of all kinds have been part of the Episcopal Church).
The current US Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, is the first woman to hold that position. The Bishop of New Hampshire was the first openly gay person to be consecrated a bishop. (It’s never too late to be the first).
The Episcopal Church has more than 2.4 million members in 7,679 congregations in 110 dioceses (and one similar geographic convocation) situated in 15 countries plus the United States. A majority of Episcopal parishes and missions (56%) were founded before 1901. Only 3.3% of all Episcopal churches were started after 1990.
The Episcopal Church can grow once again and can attract new members and can preach the gospel of our Lord – I have seen proof of this fact myself. Why don’t we all work for this? It really doesn't matter about denomination though - it is not a competition. Jesus told us to spread the Word. He didn't tell us to bring everyone in to the Episcopal Church.