Thursday, August 02, 2012

Washington National Cathedral dean: Talking about the Episcopalian identity crisis

By Rev. Gary Hall
August 1, 2012

Followers of recent developments in the Episcopal Church have felt called to opine about the state, health and future of the church. As the person selected to be the next dean of Washington National Cathedral, it’s fitting that I weigh in.

The Episcopal Church just completed its 77th General Convention in mid-July. The biggest news to come from Indianapolis: After years of study, the church approved a rite for the blessing of same-gender relationships that will be available across the denomination next January.

So much for the big news from Indianapolis. Other important things happened there as well, however. Most significantly from my perspective, the church actually began talking about the institutional and cultural factors impacting church membership and attendance. The facts are striking. All mainline (so-called liberal and conservative) denominations are experiencing sharp declines in every marker of institutional vitality: not only membership and attendance, but giving and new church start-ups as well. the rest

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