Thinking Anglicans

Global South reaches into the United States

The Church Times published an article written by me in last week’s issue in which I made an attempt at counting the number of parishes breaking away from the Episcopal Church in the US.

This is now available on the web at Global South reaches into the United States.

This article was written and printed before the announcement made last week by CANA concerning additional bishops and additional congregations.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
NP
NP
13 years ago

Simon – I think nos of people in GS sponsored Anglican churches in the US matter more than counting church buildings…..the church ismade up of people and is not about buildings (as I am sure you would agree). Look at London – there are hundreds of church buildings….but this means nothing as some of them are not really viable churches and only exist because others subsidise keeping the building open etc. Counting the no of churches in London does not given an indication of how well the CofE is doing in serving the people of London. And some of London’s… Read more »

ettu
ettu
13 years ago

As one actually resident in the USA and a close observer of the state of TEC both in the Northeast and Southeast let me add an anecdotal statement that I see little or no movement away from TEC – I fear the PR of the departing clerics and their constituency is being taken at face value – methinks their bark is greater than their bite.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“some of them are not really viable churches and only exist because others subsidise keeping the building open etc” How very Christian of you, NP! Don’t help, don’t support, don’t encourage, just condemn because they are not as popular with the world as you are. What ancient figure was it who said “No-one enjoys the sufferings of others more than the True Christian”? Ever stop to think that maybe it ISN’T God that is helping your “growth”? You also conveniently ignore that fact that border crossings started in 2000, thus could not possibly be in response to Gene Robinson’s “tearing… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
13 years ago

I did not count church buildings. A large proportion of GS congregations are meeting in schools or other non-ecclesiastical buildings.

Statistics on the numbers attending these congregations are very difficult to obtain. These numbers were hard enough…

NP
NP
13 years ago

Ford – of course action had to be taken pre- VGR…… I am the guy who is always saying this whole dispute is about the authority of scripture (not any person or any group or any particular sin…..)

I will ignore your angry comment as I do not think you really want to say that the churches God has blessed incredibly in the last 50 years in the CofE are actually being fed by someone else!

Andrew Gerns
13 years ago

As a parish priest in the Episcopal Church, ettu’s observations jive with my own. I don’t see the kind of exodus that the press speaks about, and CANA, AMiA, and the Network are lavish in the use of their numbers. Simon has done us a great service. Notice that none of these groups give any hard data as to the relative health of these congregations. We don’t know Average Sunday Attendance, Average Annual Giving, total Communicants, numbers of newly baptized, confirmed, attendance in Christian education nor how many under 16. We know this from the parishes who are direct breakaways… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“I think nos of people in GS sponsored Anglican churches in the US matter more than counting church buildings…” Absolutely…but it’s also about people who uphold Anglican teaching and beliefs and traditions…and an important one of those is the tradition of “the varying needs of nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.” IOW, each province decides on the needs of its own people…so why do the GS primates insist they know better what the people of TEC in the USA need? “some say, TEC(USA)is losing around 700 people per week.” Second time I’ve asked this:… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Pat – you guys always ask for “listening” but do not listen – I have said more than once before that one source is Virtuonline.

Pat – if TEC is so clearly upholding Anglican beliefs and traditions, why have we had Dromantine, TWR and the Tanzania Communique??????
(note I did not issue these things…they have something to do with ALL the Primates of the AC, you know)

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“action had to be taken pre- VGR” Why? “whole dispute is about the authority of scripture” No, you repeatedly claim that all this is because TEC “tore the fabric of the Communion” when it consecrated +VGR. You also go on and on about “not saying something is right when Scripture says it is wrong” while ignoring all the times the Church has done exactly that, ignore the things that you benefit from that are justified by just as much “fudge” as you scorn in your opponents, and falsely imply that the Church has always given Scripture the authority you claim… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“I have said more than once before that one source is Virtuonline…” Ay…there’s the rub: Try as I might, I cannot find any such site. I find references to it in other places, but no link. A Google search turns up nothing. Can you provide a URL, perhaps? Once I have seen it, I can evaluate the source. In the meantime, any other source? Perhaps one with a secular outlook, like a polling company? As for your constant references to Dromantine, Tanzania, et al–since when do these outweigh the Lambeth Quadrilateral? I put to you that principles should not be… Read more »

dcs-in-uppersc
dcs-in-uppersc
13 years ago

NP,

I’ve seen many people on the separatist/reasserter side that won’t even call David Virtue and VirtueOnline a reliable or helpful source. Do you have any sources aside from that site?

ettu
ettu
13 years ago

Citing one blog (Virtue) that is an apologist for a particular point of view is rather weak “proof” regarding numbers- where is the underlying quantifiable proven data? Is not Virtue just reporting hearsay or does he have audited data to support his statements? Wishing does not compare to testing and proving. Some of us come from “numbers” background and while we respect opinion and belief WHEN someone makes a quantifiable statement we expect them to be able to cite a reliable source and not just someone with another opinion – especially when that other person has a stated bias or… Read more »

Lois Keen
Lois Keen
13 years ago

Meanwhile, the TEC diocese in which I once served has a bishop who gave permission for blessings, with rules for the circumstances under which they would take place, and on the premise that only those congregations who self-identified as having or wanting to have full inclusion as part of their mission and ministry, would take part in blessings, and that no congregation was required to do so, just keeps ticking along, with no network congregations, no potential break-away congregations, plenty of continued conversation on both sides, but a maturity which I could wish for the rest of TEC and indeed… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“one source is Virtuonline.”

Such a reliable source!
And why do you put such faith in what has revealed itself to be such a nasty political process?

Steve L
Steve L
13 years ago

May I draw you-all’s attention to the curious incident regarding the “orthodox” attendance numbers? The “orthodox” constantly cite the decline in Episcopal Church membership and attendance as proof of its apostasy. But they document their own growth by counting congregations and priests. What little can be teased out about break-away membership is interesting. Led by its rector and vestry, a 3,000 member Episcopal church in Colorado became an “almost 500″ member CANA church. In December, 11 break-away churches in Virginia proudly boasted they were taking 9,9000 members (10% of the diocese’s membership) with them to CANA. Those churches also claimed… Read more »

kendall Harmon
kendall Harmon
13 years ago

The exodus is significant, but what it will end up to be (as it is still continuing) is unclear. There is no question that it varies region to region and even diocese to diocese.

It does not good to deny its seriousness (which some are doing) or exaggerate its size (which others are doing, as for example reasserters in some cases making comments about huge numbers of parishes being willing to leave, etc.).

The full truth will only come out in retrospect after a good period of time, so the judgments need to be tentative also.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

But whats the problem??

If people disagree then is there a problem if they choose to leave?

What all this shows well is that liberals and conservatives simply cannot co-exist.

Kurt
Kurt
13 years ago

Good work, Simon. You’ve done your homework, and it shows.

I don’t understand why people bother to argue with evos like NP. When he’s pinned on one topic he slides to another one. I do my best to ignore him, and I suggest others here do likewise.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Aahh–found it. When citing a source, NP, it helps if you spell it correctly.

Still, as others have noted, not exactly an unbiased source. I think I will take your “700 a week” number with not just a grain of salt, but the whole salt mine.

Robert Dodd
Robert Dodd
13 years ago

Amen, Merseymike! Love it or leave it. Our previous bishops left TEC on principle, though they prudently waited till retirement. (I call that delayed action integrity, or DAI!)

Cheryl Clough
13 years ago

Border crossing has been going on for millenia. In this tradition we heard recently 1987 for South Africa. Then there is the whole Protestant Reformation thing, those Muslim and Christianity outbreaks, that Exodus and Mt Sinai covenant, Abraham and Sarah sprouting off about one God above all gods, Noah building an ark, or Adam and Eve agreeing to become guardians and stewards of humanity and Gaia’s other inhabitants… We can become blinded through greed, power or hate mongering, fear and complacency. Revelation 3:7-13 warns us that even churches can become hijacked “…These are the words of him who…holds the key… Read more »

obadiahslope
obadiahslope
13 years ago

Some interesting statistics in Bp Pierre Whalon’s proposed HoB resolution, (posted at standfirm).

He states: “Number of parishes is 7,115; numbers of parishes seeking to leave TEC is around 160, or about 2.2%. This is a major tragedy, but not the massive movement that some would claim.”

DCS,
The claim of 700 per week leaving TEC comes from the church’s own impressive statistics page which reveals an annual net drop of 35,000 fo the last two years. Search “fast facts” on the episcopalchurch.org site.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“The claim of 700 per week leaving TEC comes from the church’s own impressive statistics page which reveals an annual net drop of 35,000 fo the last two years. Search “fast facts” on the episcopalchurch.org site.” You do realize that a significant part of that could just be the death rate outpacing the birth rate…as it does in most of the United States among white non-Hispanic populations (which certainly describes the average Episcopalian parish). It certainly does not indicate–absent some other set of data–that an average of 700 people a week are leaving the Episcopal church for some other denomination… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

As a statistician used to tell me, “correlation is not causality.” The dubious stat that TEC loses 700 people per week (based on an extrapolation of past figures) is not entirely reliable to start with, since past trends are no certain indicator of future trends. But that said, it is even sillier to claim then that the 700 a week has much of anything to do with what my lord of New Hampshire does in the privacy of his bedroom. Continuing decline (presuming it exists) is related to a constellation of things, including: 1 – the increasing secularization of American… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

OK Pat- there was a typo, how terrible!

OK, Ford – Virtue can say some horrible things….doesn’t mean everything he says is wrong. But I agree with you, he can be insulting etc and should not do that.

As the wise Canon Harmon says above, it is undeniable that there are lots of people leaving TEC(USA) but time will tell how it all pans out. Many have been leaving for decades….that is partly how we got such an extreme liberal HOB (this mistake has not been made in the CofE)

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“OK Pat- there was a typo, how terrible!”

But it was a typo that occurred again and again…how was I to know that I should add an “e”?

“Many have been leaving for decades….that is partly how we got such an extreme liberal HOB (this mistake has not been made in the CofE)”

Gee, it couldn’t be because HOB represents the beliefs of the people of TEC, could it?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“OK, Ford – Virtue can say some horrible things….doesn’t mean everything he says is wrong. “

Well, it does, actually, or at least that one cannot trust whether what he says is right or wrong. I don’t want to risk this site being accused of slander so I won’t post what I’d like to say. You jealously guard your right to judge others, where is your judgement here? Jesus tells us quite clearly, by their fruits you shall know them. Where are the fruits of the Gospel on VirtueOnline?

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
13 years ago

There was some curious but fairly serious sniping going on late last week between StandFirm and David Virtue. Seems that Virtue, by Gregg Griffith’s account, had lifted, without attribution, Matt Kennedy’s transcription of the sermon preached by Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem) to the House of Bishops. Seems it is not the first time Virtue has pulled this stunt and Griffith was pretty hot under the collar about it – “This is not the first time he has lifted – lock, stock and barrel, and without credit – original content from this site”. More interestingly, the SF page on which this snit… Read more »

28
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x