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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Company You Keep

After a bit of delay, the Episcopal Church has released its attendance figures for 2008 and it is not a pretty sight. In essence, membership continues declining and the decline is accelerating. Average Sunday attendance for parishes nationwide is now a paltry 69. Perhaps the saddest development is even those few remaining "orthodox" parishes that have managed to stave off innovation are seeing their membership dwindle (you can check on individual parishes by clicking here), the external corruption is driving their worshipers away or else they are dying and not being replaced. I am pleased to see St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, New York is at least holding its own but two Anglo-Catholic parishes I know of have taken a hit; another church I know has reported the exact same numbers for years which leads me to believe they aren't counting anymore for its numbers have dropped sharply regardless what is being reported.

Orthodox Anglicans remaining in the Episcopal Church should regard those dismal figures as a warning they cannot continue closing their eyes, holding their ears and pretending not to notice what is happening around them. Even if traditional worship and theology are still observed in their churches, they are but a priest or bishop away from heterodoxy. The time draws nigh.

(Thanks to the MCJ).

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