Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Well... the good news is. . .
Change in church school enrollment: -33%
Change in number of marriages performed: -41%
Change in number of burials/funerals: -21%
Change in the number of child baptisms: -36%
Change in the number of adult baptisms: -40%
Change in the number of confirmations: -32%
I guess you can take comfort in the fact that less people are either dying or being buried from TEC. Apart from that the picture is pretty sad. If you read this blog you know that I do not believe statistics should be the measure of our faithfulness or success but in this case I will grant that the numbers point to something being wrong -- terribly wrong -- in the good ship US Anglican. The problem cannot be completely identified with the stance on GLBT issues, either. Instead it represents the sad conclusion the the Episcopal Church has little left but the Prayer Book -- which people are glad to use but, it seems, do not take seriously for its content or confession.
In every case, form without substance and substance that eschews form are both destined for trouble. We seek not one or the other but substance of confession that is reflected in liturgy and practice consistent with that confession. Lutherans would do well to take note. There is little here to be glib about. Much of Lutheranism is headed down the same precipice. God, save us from ourselves!!
If you want to read all the news, click here and open the zip file for the full story.