"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Young Clergy Have All But Disappeared

This report is shocking. I knew that younger clergy were in short supply these days, but I didn't realize just how short that supply has become. Just 4% of ECUSA's clergy today are under 35 years of age! And in the Roman Catholic Church the percentage of young priests is even slightly lower--3%. In fact, no "mainline" American denomination can boast more than 7% of its clergy under age 35. What happened?

Did you know that if it pleases God that I be ordained next year I will still be slightly younger than the average Episcopal ordinand at the age of 42? Lord, have mercy! Even if the Episcopal church by some unforeseen turn of events remains together past this summer's General Convention, what kind of long term future could it possibly have if so many of its clergy are either geriatric or soon to become so? Hat tip to titusonenine.


Blogger Julian said...

What happened? "The Process."

They do all sorts of things to attract young people, but once we hit our 20s, they tell us to go work for a decade or put us through a process of at least that long anyway. And if you're orthodox and female, you can double that estimate.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Mimi Catherine Chen said...

The Church today in the modern age as we know it, need more from the laity, it lives b/c the laity exists, often i'm challenging my fellow RC's to be of more lay mentality then the Clerical. We must get one thing right the establishment of wholesome families from these families produce our clergy! so pray for strong wholesome families!

6:44 PM  

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