A.S. Haley on TEC’s Executive Council and the Massive Challenges they face that Cannot be Escaped

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Both the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies made opening remarks to the Council, along with CEO Bishop Sauls. (Bishop Jefferts Schori's remarks were not made from a prepared text, but are summarized in this ENS article.) Reading between the lines of each, and translating the Presiding Bishop's earlier prepared remarks about coming changes in structure, which may be viewed here, it is clear that the heads of the Church are not of one mind about how to deal with the challenges which it faces in the twenty-first century.

And those challenges are significant and substantial. They are summarized graphically in a presentation to the Council (zip file download is at this link) by Kirk Hadaway, who is the church official in charge of congregational research, and by Matthew Price, of the Church Pension Fund. Among other facts shown, 72% of Episcopal congregations were in financial stress as of 2010 (compared to 58% of other denominations for the same year) -- the highest level in the past decade, by far.

Read it all.

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Posted January 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. A Senior Priest wrote:

Beautifully written and thought-out, as always. God bless the Curmudgeon!

January 28, 10:45 pm | [comment link]
2. carl wrote:

It’s very important that we all remember one very important fact about these figures.  They have no relationship at all to the doctrinal innovations of TEC.  Not in any way shape or form.  None whatsoever.  Not even a smidge.  The two concepts are totally uncorrelated.  This is all the result of long-term societal trends that are affecting all denominations equally.  Well, there is the backlash against the schismatic reactionary fundamentalists who have spent the past ten years ripping TEC to pieces in their quest to steal the franchise and the property and squash the leading of the spirit.  But that’s not our fault either.  And when they’re all gone (not that we want them gone or anything) then we can start to repair the damage they have caused.  But that’s the only connection!  Only a narrow-minded bigot would say otherwise.

Why, no.  I wasn’t passing a graveyard.  Why do you ask?


January 28, 10:45 pm | [comment link]
3. rwkachur wrote:

“There have even been hints that the Church cannot wait that long, and that a Special Convention might have to be called..”.  I shudder to think of what the group would come up with but here is one probable outcome of such meeting.  The dioceses will be consolidated in the name fiduciary responsibility and you can be sure when it comes time to remove bishops and reduce the overhead, the conservatives, as few as there apparently are, will be on the chopping block first.  It will be “I am sorry, Bishop Lawrence, this really doesn’t have anything to do with your stances on issues within the church and it’s really swell your diocese is the only one growing, its just the ‘economic exigencies’ of the times were living in and we must adapt to the future.”  It has the virtue of removing a trouble maker without another “Title IV” fiasco.  I am also reasonably sure that the bishops left actually leading dioceses will all be 100% for the 19% tithe to the national church.  As a bone and a tip of the hat to “tradition” the dethroned bishops will be allowed to remain in the House of Bishops, for what that’s worth.  Anybody care to disagree?

January 28, 11:02 pm | [comment link]
4. Milton Finch wrote:


Being that individual dioceses are autonomous, and nothing can be done at the national level without the individual dioceses consents, ...no, it will never happen to Bishop Lawrence in the manner that you spoke, unless our diocese agrees to the agregious manipulation of power that we have seen utilized by powerless General Conventions.  It would take a complete overhaul of the Canons and Constitution, then the Diocese of South Carolina allowing them to get away with the overhaul of that magnitude for such a transgression to transpire.

January 29, 12:48 am | [comment link]
5. paradoxymoron wrote:

Bah! Canons only apply against conservatives.

January 29, 1:17 am | [comment link]
6. Milton Finch wrote:

Unless one is backed by a correctly thinking diocese!  Hehe

January 29, 1:29 am | [comment link]
7. Milton Finch wrote:

Or should I say a correctly thinking “Consitutional” diocese?

January 29, 1:33 am | [comment link]
8. Cennydd13 wrote:

2.  “Conservative reactionary fundamentalists?”  Yep, that’s us, alright!  Rip TEC to shreds?  You bet!  Was it undeserved?  Nope!  Who caused this to happen?  Hmm, I wonder…....

January 29, 7:08 pm | [comment link]
9. Ralinda wrote:

The shifting alliances are very interesting. Back in September at the HOB meeting, Bishop Sauls suggested a massive reorganization that would put mission first and reduce overhead (which is currently 47% and does not meet Better Business Bureau standards for non-profit overhead).  His suggested budget was $81 million for the triennium and would be funded by 1% giving to the national church from every parish. http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/79425_129893_ENG_HTM.htm
Bonnie Anderson was miffed that she didn’t get briefed before his plan was rolled out. Now we have Bonnie championing a not-so-austere budget of $91.5 while +Sauls and +Schori want the bloated $105 million budget.

January 29, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
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