[Stand Firm] 7 Apr 2008--Billy Ockham, Diocese of Atlanta, knocks one out of the park -- read on, for more of his point, and while I'm at it, now is a good time for me to remind readers of the Affirmation of Faithful Stewardship here at StandFirm:
In the year of my birth the population of the United States was 180,671,158. The membership of the Episcopal Church was 3,444,000. In 2006 (the last year we have current figures for) the population of the United States was 296,410,404. The membership of the Episcopal Church was 2,205,376.
I know most Episcopalian loyalists are going, "Ok, we lost 1,200,000 people in 45 years." That is where you are wrong. The population of the US grew by 64% in that time. The membership of the Episcopal Church ought to be 5,650,000. We lost 3,444,000 members. We lost 3/5's of our numbers. Where did they go? In a church that says everyone is special, everyone is important, everyone has a place, why are they not missed?
One would think that confronted with a catastrophic loss of members, the Episcopal Church would be desperate to recruit to reach out to evangelize and also to retain the members it already has. One would be wrong. The Episcopal Church is desperate to retain the property to which it has any form of legal claim, but that is all.