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Formerly Influential U.S. Episcopal Church: Now Fewer than 2 Million Members
Opposing Views ^ | October 26, 2011

Posted on 10/26/2011 3:36:47 PM PDT by NYer

WASHINGTON -- Once a flagship denomination of American mainline Protestantism, the U.S.-based Episcopal Church has for the first time in decades reported membership below two million.

Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year. The loss of 54,436 members increases the annual rate of decline from 2 percent to 3 percent, outpacing the most recently reported declines in most other mainline churches. The church's 10-year change in active members has dropped 16 percent.

A branch of the otherwise fast-growing 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest family of Christian churches globally, the Episcopal Church had also seen a steady decrease in the number of parishes, losing or closing over 100 in 2010, as well as a drop in attendance from 682,963 in 2009 to 657,831 in 2010, a 4 percent drop. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. Episcopal Churches suffered attendance loss over the prior year. Over the last decade, attendance was down 23 percent.

The denomination, which once claimed over 3.5 million members as recently as the mid-1960s, has lost over 40 percent of membership even while the U.S. population grew by over 50 percent.

A statistical summary provided by the Episcopal Church can be viewed here

Jeff Walton, spokesman for IRD’s Anglican Action Program, commented:

"The drop below 2 million members is noteworthy, but the precipitous drop in attendance is even more dramatic, boding poorly for the Episcopal Church’s future. Almost one-quarter of Episcopalians who were in the pews in 2000 have vanished.

"Departures to other churches have fueled Episcopal decline, as have decreasing baptisms and its graying population.

"These statistics contrast sharply with more theologically conservative Anglican churches in the global south, many of which are witnessing skyrocketing numbers.

"Despite all its liberal cheer leading about inclusiveness, the Episcopal Church is a dwindling, nearly all white, increasingly gray-headed denomination with a grim future, absent divine intervention."


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abominationtogod; episcopaganism; episcopagans; episcopal; fauxchristians; gaychurch; homosexualagenda; icky

1 posted on 10/26/2011 3:36:51 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
Says it all:

"These statistics contrast sharply with more theologically conservative Anglican churches in the global south, many of which are witnessing skyrocketing numbers.

"Despite all its liberal cheer leading about inclusiveness, the Episcopal Church is a dwindling, nearly all white, increasingly gray-headed denomination with a grim future, absent divine intervention."

2 posted on 10/26/2011 3:52:36 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: NYer

Praise God for this good news! The Lord is not going to prosper those churches that worship and promote false idols like homosexuality and other sexual immorality.


3 posted on 10/26/2011 3:58:03 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: NYer

This is where I went... http://www.anglicanpck.org/index.shtml


4 posted on 10/26/2011 3:58:11 PM PDT by WSGilcrest (/s)
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To: NYer

Sooo,
How’s that fags are ok thing going for ya there Episcopalians??


5 posted on 10/26/2011 4:01:21 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (FUBO ( Real conservative or go fish))
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To: RightGeek
Not a surprise.

The only surprise is that they are admitting membership has fallen below 2 million. It's "Hide the Decline" all over again.

We left that church in 2003, after the General Convention that approved the consecration of Vicky Gene the bishop who left his wife and two little girls to live in sin with a man. That was the last straw for my husband (I had been ready to go for a while).

But we are still on the membership rolls. Getting off them is like trying to get off the Plain Truth Magazine mailing list. We finally gave up in disgust -- the diocese outright refused to drop us, so we developed a workaround that would have involved transferring our letters to a sympathetic priest in North Carolina, who would then have quietly dropped us from his rolls. But aside from involving him in skullduggery that might have resulted in discipline, it kept us involved in all the drama.

So it's really "less than 2 million, minus 4 . . . and a whole lot more."

Average Sunday Attendance ("ASA") is what you really need to look at. When the national church still published those figures, they were in steep decline. They stopped publishing them, and you have to really dig to find them now. And I stopped caring awhile ago.

6 posted on 10/26/2011 4:02:20 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: NYer
and its graying population.

Shouldn't that be "gaying" population?

I love how the embrace of openly (and practicing) gay clergy, and how that has contributed to the decline, is completely ignored.

7 posted on 10/26/2011 4:07:09 PM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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To: NYer

Why be an Episcopalian stuck in church on Sunday, when you can be a secular humanist and go out for a bike ride?


8 posted on 10/26/2011 4:07:39 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: RightGeek

And Catholics are witnessing skyrocketing numbers too. Instead of only one Rite of Election for Easter last year for the new converts — our Archdiocese had to schedule two, and the cathedral was packed both times!

All that were in attendance were the converts and their sponsors!


9 posted on 10/26/2011 4:10:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

(”Despite all its liberal cheer leading about inclusiveness, the Episcopal Church is a dwindling...”)

Shouldn’t that be “Because” instead of “Despite”? That would be more “reality-based”!

What is it that should attract anybody to a Church that does not stand for anything, and accepts not just everybody, but even more importantly, every behavior? It reminds me of socialism, where everybody owns everything, which is another way of saying that nobody owns anything, with the predictable result of nothing is maintained, and everything falls into decay.


10 posted on 10/26/2011 4:16:39 PM PDT by winner3000 (ss)
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To: NYer

I wonder if the Episcopal leadership will agree to convert to Islam if Obama gives them a taxpayer bailout?


11 posted on 10/26/2011 4:25:49 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: NYer

As one of the former Episcopalians who left, I couldn’t be happier.


12 posted on 10/26/2011 4:51:16 PM PDT by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: mgstarr

Makes three of us. Catholic now. :)


13 posted on 10/26/2011 5:03:36 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: mgstarr

I was raised up Catholic, fell away from almost all involvement after high school. Years later, sfter my divorce, I became involved in the Episcopal church, raising my daughters in it. I got lukewarm in the early nineties when Frank Griswold became Bishop of Chicago, later Presiding Bishop for the US Church. I could see which way this was heading, and left the Episcopal Church. I am now attending an Assemblies of God Church. While we may have our theological differences with the catholic Church, we are on the same page on social issues.


14 posted on 10/26/2011 5:44:22 PM PDT by JayVee (Joseph)
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To: AnAmericanMother
Getting off them is like trying to get off the Plain Truth Magazine mailing list.

I know what you mean; been there! (We finally got off after Herbie W. assumed room temperature.)

15 posted on 10/26/2011 6:01:55 PM PDT by 6323cd
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To: JayVee

I was also in Chicago then and remember Griswold well. We attended a fairly high Episcopal church there, Church of the Ascension on La Salle. Having attended a Catholic high school in Dallas and Catholic grad school in Chicago, I knew which way I was headed, just took a few decades to finally swim the Tiber.


16 posted on 10/26/2011 6:16:16 PM PDT by mgstarr ("Some of us drink because we're not poets." Arthur (1981))
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To: NYer

Thank Gene Gene the Preaching Machine, says this former member.


17 posted on 10/26/2011 6:22:55 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Never Again! Except for the next time.)
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To: Salvation

If Catholic numbers are up, why the shortage of priests? Or is this not a problem anymore?


18 posted on 10/26/2011 7:01:09 PM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: JayVee

Wow! From Episcopal to Assemblies of God!! How did you recover from the culture shock?


19 posted on 10/26/2011 7:03:33 PM PDT by fwdude ("When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve ...")
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To: NYer

This is total nonsense. TEC WISHES they had 2 million members!

Their system is to NEVER remove a member from their rolls unless that person specifically demands it. I left the church 5 years ago and they STILL carry me as a member. Horse Pucky!

Over 1/3 of all TEC churches are expected to be shuttered within the next several years.

This organization adopted the ‘strategy’ to become a social club, not a church of Christ. In their new role they have fierce competition from much more well established social clubs and from groups that do ‘social club’ much more effectively.

Meanwhile, those REAL churches of Christ who remain just that are exploding.

A half dozen year back, when it became clear the gays had successfully taken over TEC, many predicted this atrophy - but also predicted the gays could not care in the least, since they would still have control of the vast real estate holdings and still have a small-to-medium sized group of contributors who don’t care the church is no longer a church.

Prophetic, huh?


20 posted on 10/26/2011 9:19:33 PM PDT by Ancient Wonderboy
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To: NYer

Gee. I wonder why.


21 posted on 10/27/2011 2:48:04 AM PDT by AdaGray
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To: AnAmericanMother

Our experience mirrors yours. We are still registered in the parish we left back in 05. The only way a parishioner’s name ever comes off is via a transfer to another TEC parish.

In the delusional “we-create-our-own reality” world of the Episcopal Church, apparently leaving the church does not mean leaving the church.

Wonder when the leadership will insist upon firing the guy at 815 who annually publishes these stats.


22 posted on 10/27/2011 7:58:47 AM PDT by Rosie405
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To: AnAmericanMother

Count me as another former Episcopalian. Left in ‘97 after my Diocese decided, “all gay, all the way” was the way to go to get more money and members. That was the beginning of the end, together with such practices as pagan worshipping in the Labyrinth. Since 2003, my former parish has lost at least 2/3 of its members, according to its own statistics page on the Episcopal Church website. I don’t shed any tears, although my family had been members of that church since its founding in the 1860s.

Regarding average Sunday attendance, I think that figure is in the 600,000 range now.


23 posted on 10/28/2011 7:48:00 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing
Our former diocese ASA was down about 3% in 2008-2009 from the previous year. Of course, the big drop was in 2003 and apparently they're not doing a long range comparison any more.

Membership and ASA by diocese, 2008-2009

They claim about 700K for ASA in 2009, which means it's probably much worse in reality. I trust them about as far as I can kick them up a chimney.

In contrast, our Catholic parish is doing well -- new members every week and lots of activity (and orthodox teaching and liturgy). We even have good music!

24 posted on 10/29/2011 4:03:45 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: kaehurowing
Forgot to mention (the music reminded me) that we happened to go over to our former cathedral last year to help our (Catholic) organist make a recording of an original composition ("The Vision of St. John on the Island of Patmos" -- it's pretty amazing.) The Piskie cathedral has the very best organ in town -- one of the last of the great Aeolian-Skinners, with all the bells and whistles.

As we hiked through the Hall of Bishops on our way to the church, there was a long haired hippie type guy, barefoot, eyes closed, in the lotus position in the middle of the Labyrinth painted on the floor of the Hall of Bishops. The old oil portraits of the Bishops of Atlanta were looking down their noses at him. Poor guys -- they never imagined it would come to this!

25 posted on 10/29/2011 4:07:02 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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