Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Episcopal Church’s tension: tradition and change

From The Washington Post-

In an Episcopal parish where I once worked, the custom was to give the Christmas plate offering to local charities. A generous, very progressive leader of the parish objected. “Maybe it makes you clergy feel good, but I give money to my church to build it up so it can do its own unique kind of good.”

He was expressing the no-nonsense wisdom of air travel: “If there is a loss in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. If you are traveling with a child or someone who needs assistance, strap yours on first and then help the other.”

God knows the Episcopal Church needs some oxygen for itself if it has a prayer of helping anyone else. While we’re not exactly on life support, we are diminished and in danger of becoming what the new bishop of Washington calls “a boutique church.”

I remember repeating the prideful mantra, “We may be statistically small, but we have influence out of proportion to our size-more members of Congress, the Supreme Court, past (and then current) presidents.”

That was when we claimed 3 million members in a nation of 200 million. Now we’re less than 2 million among more than 300 million. The old mantra is laughable.

More here-


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