Wednesday, August 16, 2017


From The Living Church-

The first time I heard this — two years ago — I wondered how much money was in the trust fund of the young postulant sitting in my office. He had come to me seeking a parish field placement, and was responding to my standard question — “What kind of priestly ministry do you imagine for yourself upon graduation?”

But he was not an anomaly. Bishops and commissions on ministry are telling more and more ordinands that the Episcopal Church cannot guarantee employment upon ordination, and therefore that ordinands should prepare an alternate source of income.

“Be tentmakers!” they are told. “You should be in the community anyhow,” they are advised. “Your priestly ministry will be strengthened by your outside work.”

According to a little-noticed study [PDF] published by the Church Pension Group in 2016, a representative survey of all Episcopal clergy under the age of 72 revealed that 42 percent were not employed by a single Episcopal employer (what the study calls the old model). Ten percent of these clergy were employed part time; 11 percent were bivocational (meaning that they worked both for a TEC and non-TEC employer, often drawing their income from non-parochial employment), 5 percent were employed by multiple TEC institutions at the same time, and 5 percent served as interims or supply priests. The remaining 11 percent drew no salary, were not employed by TEC, or had no employment at all.

More here-

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