"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.

Monday, November 05, 2007

TEC and the Effects of Neglecting the Gospel

TitusOneNine featured a couple of articles this evening that fit together so well that they begged for comment.

The first was about the recently concluded diocesan convention of the diocese of Michigan. It features the picture below. A huge sign tauting the Millenium Development Goals of the UN looms over the altar, dwarfing the cross in front of it. It is a stark reminder that, even in those places where TEC is not dominated by heresy, one is frequently more likely to find left-wing political activism than a straight-forward proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as laudable as many of the MDG's may be, they are no substitute for the Good News.

Perhaps this failure to stay "on message" helps to explain the next article in the series, which features the following membership figures for TEC:

2000 TEC Domestic ASA (average Sunday attendance): 856,579
2006 estimated Domestic ASA: 764,660

ASA loss in 6 years: 91,919 (-10.7%, a loss of 1.8% per year)

ASA loss per year: 15,320,
This is 15,000+ attendees lost every year for 6 years, which is equivalent to losing the diocese of Southwest Florida or Central Florida every year. (They ranked 13th and 14th in TEC in 2005)

ASA loss per day: 42 attendees.
The 2005 average ASA is 74 attendees, so this means losing an average congregation of worshippers every 2 days for 6 years.


Blogger Derek the ├ćnglican said...

Umm--I hate to say it, but not all is lost. There are still those committed to TEC who have not lost sight of the Gospel. It's not *all* darkness and evil outside of Fort Worth.

Despair--even for an ailing part of Christ's Body--is still a sin, right? ;-)

10:20 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

The Diocese of Michigan holds conventions in hotel banquet rooms. Typically the same room is used for legislative sessions, presentations, and worship. I'm neither surprised nor concerned that a Mass was celebrated in front of a poster of the MDGs; all it means is that the room had been used for a discussion of the MDGs, a poster was put up to remind everyone of what those are, and it remained there during the Mass. While the planners perhaps should have thought how that would look in photos, and one might argue that Eucharists done conventions can be a bit makeshift and undignified, I don't think it's fair to take a message away from the photo about how "the MDGs have replaced the Gospel."

9:03 AM  

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