In Northern California, Rohnert Park Episcopal congregation disbands after 36 years

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After 36 years, it was the end for Holy Family Episcopal Church in Rohnert Park, which fell victim to finances weakened beyond repair by a declining church membership.

"Heartbroken would be a good way to put it," Pastor Gail Cafferata said of the small and now-disbanding fellowship, which expects to scatter to churches in Santa Rosa, Kenwood and Petaluma.

"It's just been a really tough thing for everyone involved," said Leslie Manning, 49, who joined the church four years ago.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

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1. Big Vicar wrote:

Many opinions, much lamenting, and sadness galore from the featured women of the parish and diocese.  Where are the men?

Might that be part of the problem?

May 21, 2:23 pm | [comment link]
2. Paul PA wrote:

They built a building that seats up to 350 and now have 40 members.

May 21, 2:24 pm | [comment link]
3. Jim the Puritan wrote:

I would hazard to say, as I read all these stories about churches going under, that they tend to have one thing in common.

May 21, 2:53 pm | [comment link]
4. Undergroundpewster wrote:

The economic collapse put a big dent in giving. Older parishioners are dying. And younger people, as Cafferata put it, “have different ways of expressing their spirituality.”

Like sleeping in on Sundays because we didn’t raise em right.

May 21, 3:41 pm | [comment link]
5. Pb wrote:

The excuses do not work.  There are a number of growing churches in this country and many congregations would rather die than change. Younger people are not brand loyal and will not attend a dead TEC church just because they were raised in one.

May 21, 4:31 pm | [comment link]
6. magnolia wrote:

“There are a number of growing churches in this country and many congregations would rather die than change.”
that’s here in houston too, i see many megachurches that show a picture of a pastor and his wife. they seem like feel good, self help denominations; no real solid theology.
imo, it’s better to die out having remained remain true to the Bible and its doctrines than to evolve into a new age spiritualism that only leads to damnation.
of course this being an espiscopal church that may have been the exact reason for its demise. this new ‘religion’ doesn’t attract orthodox Christians and the nuveaux christians don’t like denominations.

May 21, 4:43 pm | [comment link]
7. Statmann wrote:

No real surprise here.  From 2002 to 2010 Membrs fell from 225 to 85, ASA from 60 to 30, and Plate & Pledge from $70K to $30K. 
As for young persons, the Dio of N. CA has seen Marraiges decline by 39 percent and Infant Bapttisms by 45 percent.  Statmann

May 21, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
8. paradoxymoron wrote:

It’s kind of like the play Lyistrata, except for the unwillingness of one gender to change their minds, and the unhappy ending, and one other thing which I can’t quite put my finger on at the moment.

May 21, 10:14 pm | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

“His anger is toward the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, which, said Cafferata, by deciding it would not support the church financially, ensured its closure.”

Why is a diocese obliged to bail out a congregation that cannot support itself? 

If this parishioner had blamed the Dio Northern California for espousing a false liberal gospel which drives people away from the pews, then that would have made more sense.  But the flaw in that argument is obvious: the parish itself has been complicit in the liberalisation of TEC.  Now they are reaping the rewards of those who embrace the liberal gospel - withering away to extinction.

As Pb points out, there are Anglican churches in USA that are growing, even if they start out small.  But the difference is that they take their stand on the Truth.

May 21, 10:29 pm | [comment link]
10. Bill Matz wrote:

Having grown up with the first vicar (at a prior mission), this is sad. But the handwriting has been on the wall for a decade.

May 23, 1:28 am | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

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