29 March 2009

Oh, no. Reality.

For my Anglican / Episcopal readers - it seems the light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming freight train:
There are some indications that what the committee describes as “tensions” are growing in congregations. In a similar survey undertaken in 2005, 37 percent of congregations reported serious conflict that resulted in at least some members leaving. About one-third of those responding in 2005 attributed the conflict to decisions made during the 2003 General Convention. In a similar survey conducted in 2008, 64 percent of congregations reported some level of conflict over the ordination of homosexual clergy, with most reporting such conflict to be serious.

“Overall, 47 percent of Episcopal congregations had serious conflict over this issue, 40 percent indicated that some people left and 18 percent indicated that some people withheld funds,” the committee report states. “Furthermore, the rate of decline in Average Sunday Attendance from 2003-2007 among congregations with serious conflict over the ordination of gay clergy was 35 percent higher than congregations with no conflict over the issue (and accounted for more than double the aggregate loss).”
Remember these recent words from our current Presiding Bishop:
But Bishop Jefferts Schori also said the fallout for the Episcopal Church, with 7,700 congregations in the United States and elsewhere, has been exaggerated.

"We know of about 55 or 60 [congregations] which have had a majority of members decide to leave the Episcopal Church. That's well under 1 percent," she said.
and these as well,
"I think we're well past the worst of the crisis,"

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