Canon Neal Michell’s Diocese of Dallas Convention Address

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are in the ninth year of our Strategic Plan. We started out with a flurry of activity and accomplished much. After five years we got sidetracked by sexuality issues and the departures of several churches. In the face of the conflict in the larger church we have been faithfully living into various parts of the Strategic Plan.

• We have continued to plant churches. We have planted five churches and several new communities of faith, targeting Latinos, young adults, Koreans, and African Immigrants. Approximately ten percent of our average Sunday attendance is traceable to these new communities of faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

Posted October 31, 2009 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

If I hear “living into” one more time I’ll… I’ll… I dunno.

October 31, 3:31 pm | [comment link]
2. RandomJoe wrote:

Did anybody else find this statement odd:
“Our membership has decreased by 1,500—that is due primarily to
churches updating their membership lists.”
It begs the question, where did the people go?

October 31, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
3. Sarah wrote:

Random Joe, I think it’s similar to what happens when a new rector comes in to a parish and “cleans the rolls”—that is, takes off the “members” who are gone already anyway.  It’s usually done every time a new rector arrives . . .

That seems right considering that their ASA has remained essentially flat for the past year, while deleting folks who aren’t actually members.

November 1, 12:22 am | [comment link]
4. periwinkle wrote:

What troubles me most in this speech, and I was a delegate at the convention, is Michell’s+ terming of the sexuality issues as something we got “sidetracked by” and as “distractions.” He seemed to indicate that it was the Bishops’ jobs to deal with these…which would be great but our Bishops are not dealing with these. The modus operendi in this diocese is highly dysfunctional. It is as though Daddy is having an affair (or is drunk and passed out in the living room), but so long as the children continue to do their chores (be about the mission), and come to the dinner table (one great fellowship) and let the grown-ups deal with the problem and keep their mouths shut….well, then all will be well. It seems to me that is exactly how the Episcopal Church got where it is today. Sweep the problems under the carpet, act like gentlemen, Pike and Spong won’t do any lasting damage. Just like the tv show Dallas all is shiny and wonderful on the surface but deeply troubled underneath. We are told departure is not a strategy, but neither is this.

November 1, 10:30 am | [comment link]
5. Creighton+ wrote:

These comments seem just too critical.  Neal is an extremely positive and gifted Christian Leader.  He is being honest…and cleaning out the roles is the only way to have honest stats.  Nor is he saying the sexuality issue (the presenting problem of biblical interpretation) is a secondary issue.  Rather, he is saying focus on what is important, Christ, His Gospel, His mission and ministry, and move forward.  Otherwise you might as well give up or get out and Neal is not going to do so!  Neal is committed to this path and is honest and clear about his position and intention and is to be commended.

I pray for him, the Diocese of Dallas, and the Diocese of SC….and the election to come in SC.

November 1, 11:35 am | [comment link]
6. David Keller wrote:

Creighton—The election is not in SC. It is in Upper SC. The difference between SC and Upper SC is so wide, I can’t find the words this morning to describe it. The gulf between us and the Diocese of SC can be found in foue words:  Dorsey Henderson; Mark Lawerence.

November 1, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
7. David Keller wrote:

Make that “four words”. Sorry.

November 1, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
8. Creighton+ wrote:


I do indeed realize the election is in UPPER SC…and yes, it is clear that the clergy are much more theologically liberal…I am not so sure of the laity.  However, I am encouraged for the people of Upper SC because of the number of good solid candidates…..I see with eyes of hope and hope the good people of Upper SC will see as much also…

In any case, I am praying for all in the UPPER Diocese of SC….

And yes there is a major difference between the two bishops of SC…

November 2, 11:26 am | [comment link]
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