- Many, if not most of those Reservation churches sit empty and are used only for funerals. Historic Church of the Messiah in Wounded Knee recently closed.
- In another video clip at the Episcopal Life site, you can hear Bishop Robertson of SD say that national church budget cuts are costing the diocese a mission vicar position - that means no priest to serve at least one cluster of Reservation churches.
- The church's fading presence leaves much of Reservation Episcopalianism nominal - family traditions change slowly and Indian* people will list as "Episcopalian" when it means nothing more than "That's what my grandparents joined."
- Indian clergy and lay leaders are aging without a new generation of leaders coming up to take their places.
- The National Church, which is involved in multimillion dollar litigation against people around the country, recently cut $400,000 from programs to support ministry on the Reservations in South Dakota and three other states. (By the way - why aren't traditional Anglicans considered "relatives" by Episcopal leaders?)
At a preconvention meeting a couple of years ago, an Indian speaker chastised the Diocese for coming at the Reservations with "projects" rather than a spiritual message. He was ignored, and discussion returned to a diocesan finance question.
*"Indian" is used colloquially here in South Dakota - the D/Lakota people are not insistent about "Native American."