Greg Griffith at Stand Firm analyzes the situation in Connecticut (wait, don't leave, there is a Northern Plains connection) in this post. Here's his key paragraph:
In this little episode we can glimpse the fear that grips the hard-line "progressive" leadership of the church. In Connecticut, a hotbed of religious liberalism* if there ever was one, headed by a bishop whose hard-line tactics easily stack up to (and indeed occasionally exceed) that of the presiding bishop, a congregation that its rector describes as "unique and represent[ing] an alive and diverse Christianity" can't afford to keep its doors open. If ever there were a surrounding population that is open to the message of the New Thing, it's Connecticut. If ever there were a bishop who's demonstrated his willingness to follow the Schori scorched-earth policy of dealing with dissent, it's Andrew Smith. The rector of Christ Church describes his parish's financial woes as "the perfect storm," but in fact the Diocese of Connecticut is the "perfect storm" for the Episcopal Church's New Thing. If it can't survive - indeed, thrive - there, then its chances of surviving anywhere else are slight at best.
* Note that this refers to churches that obscure or deny core teachings shared by most Christians around the world - mainly as to the divine nature, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is not about political liberalism; there are many orthodox, traditional Christians who are politically progressive.
The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut seized one church building and two other congregations walked out of theirs rather than face litigation. The result is two empty buildings, lots of bills for the Bishop to pay, and a third building with lots of debt and a marginal congregation that is not growing.
Greg's point, that CT is a coastal, progressive and affluent state where non-traditional Christianity should thrive, should be a wake up nudge to those of us here in "fly-over country." If it can't grow in CT, where the Bishop basically got rid of his pesky traditionalists, then what is to become of churches here on the Plains?
As one Native American participant said at a church meeting two years ago, "You (the church) need to get your spiritual message back. We have our Native religion and can always go back to that. We don't need more clergy to do 'programs' - we have those through the Tribal governments."
Liberal Protestantism is spiritually empty. That's why it's always looking for a cause or project to fill that sad, vacant place in its soul. But what it winds up with is more emptiness. Empty preaching. Empty prayers. Empty churches.
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the deepest darkness has been reserved. For they speak bombastic nonsense, and with licentious desires of the flesh they entice people who have just escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them. 2 Peter 2:17-19