Sunday, September 12, 2010

Will talk of merging small/declining dioceses come to Dakota Episcopalians?

h/t Anglican Essentials (Canada) for this link:

Diocesan mergers ahead in the US and Canada: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 10, 2010 p « Conger

It is probably the efficient thing to do, and the most responsible use of resources. The more important question is how to reverse the trends that make it necessary - to create a compelling Christian mission.

Progressives in the church have a point: much of what is comfortable and familiar to existing members does not connect with the questions asked by people outside of the church. But conservatives have a point that the denomination's self-declared "hierarchy" won't address: Liberal Protestantism says nothing that secular people don't already think without the church.

As ever, the church needs to both open its heart to the messy stuff in the world around it while offering the truth and values of a heavenly kingdom that many worldly people will not care to receive. This will not be easy for a denomination that historically provided chaplaincy to a nominally Christian culture - a culture that already accepted and made a niche for it.

I've heard the merger idea come up informally around the Dakotas. With ASA (Average Sunday Attendance) for SD & ND combined at around 3,000, it might make sense to return to the old territorial days of one Bishop & staff for both.

The Episcopal Church in this part of the world was nurtured into existence with a lone bishop and small cadre of clergy, raising leaders in small communities and cross-culturally. So there is a rich and not typically denominational history on which to draw.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Suggest moving diocesan offices and cathedral to Mobridge. Central place.