HOD State of the Church Committee issues statement, offers bulletin insert

Posted May 14, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Episcopal Church House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church has issued a statement following the conclusion of its work for the triennium:

The House of Deputies State of the Church Committee (SOTC) has concluded its work for the triennium. The report, submitted as part of the Blue Book, is available here.

The charge of the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, the oldest committee of the Church, is to prepare a report for the House of Deputies that shows an accurate picture of The Episcopal  Church and to approve the form of the Annual Parochial Report. Its mandate states: “CANON I.6.5(b) A Committee of the House of Deputies shall be appointed following the close of each General Convention, to serve ad interim, and to prepare and present to the next meeting of the House of Deputies a report on the State of the Church; which report, when agreed to by the said House, shall be sent to the House of Bishops.”

The Committee on the State of the Church has partnered with Forward Movement , working together to offer an overview, or “snapshot,” of the 38- page report.  This summary report is available as a PDF document in two formats — as an 8 1/2 x 11 full sheet here or as a half-sheet suitable for use as a bulletin insert, available at no fee here. Congregations are encouraged to print and distribute this information so that Episcopalians across the church will gain an awareness of the state of our Church.


Comments (2)

  1. Doug Desper says:

    OK — I’ll say it. This insert is depressing. It reveals a Church that has health in some areas but a general malaise or misdirection in others.
    This is nothing new.
    This has been seen before – in our post-Revolution history.
    The Church was all but dead and the scant remnant reassured itself that it was all going to work out, but there was no change of direction. All around the newborn United States the evangelical religious fervor and opportunities were bypassing a self-assured ever-shrinking, mainly irrelevant Anglican religious expression. That is, until Bishop William Meade tossed aside the self-defeating direction of that remnant and looked to the populous’ hunger and religious aspirations and melded the beauty of Anglican worship, theology, and piety to an evangelical message of “Christ and Him Crucified”.
    There is nothing new under the sun here.
    Decline always defines a Church that loses its way, it’s message, and it’s different pilgrim walk than that of the culture around it.
    If anyone is interested about someone who produced positive results during dramatic religious decline I would commend a short work about Bishop Meade: http://archive.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_077_3_Yuill.pdf

  2. Jim Welsh says:

    Re: “We need to change the ways in which we assess vitality.”

    No, that would only create a set of quality measures that would guarantee a positive spin on the state of the Church. There is no getting around the dreadful numbers, the empty pews stare you in the face each Sunday morning. Until the Church owns up to its responsibility in the decline of the people’s desire to come together and worship the Lord, and until the Church repents of its sins, the decline will continue. Any reasonable organization would clean house and set a new course. I suggest that William Meade’s approach of being “a strong and unceasing fighter against immoral and unworthy customs in the social life of the people” would be a good example for a new set of leaders in the Church.

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