With its Rector at the Helm, Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church Pushes for Diversity

The Rev. Thomas Eoyang still isn’t quite sure what made him return to church after years of indifference.

“I at first thought, ”˜Well that’s a silly idea,’ but you know when you’re trying to brainstorm you try to entertain every notion possible. Including all the silly ones,” said Eoyang about his decision to join a seminary in Cambridge, Mass., even before he had a desire to become a priest. He has been the rector at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church on Gowen Avenue since 2004.

Eoyang ditched a successful career in medical publishing to join, and it proved to be a genuinely fun and uplifting experience. Eoyang found himself signing up for huge course loads and absorbing everything he could.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

8 comments on “With its Rector at the Helm, Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church Pushes for Diversity

  1. mannainthewilderness says:

    [i] He incorporates messages against extreme wealth into some of his sermons, and focuses a lot of energy on the “system of racism” running through society. He sees a problem when diversity isn’t represented. [/i] — maybe he should think of incorporating the Gospel of Christ . . . just sayin’

  2. Ralph says:

    Preach the Gospel, you say?

    We know where he went to seminary, don’t we? He might not think that would be very interesting or relevant:
    [blockquote]There are seven passages in the Bible that people tend to cite when arguing that Christianity is against homosexuality, Eoyang said. But he thinks these are faulty arguments, since nobody practices the Bible in a literal sense.[/blockquote]

  3. Larry Morse says:

    There go those idiot Christians, citing passages in the Bible again. What IS the matter with them? Don’t they know that these passages are faulty because no one lives the Bible literally. Wait, does that make sense? Blast those aggravating Christians, make what is simple – agreeing with me – complicated by saying the Bible can actually mean what it says. Larry

  4. Chris says:

    “extreme wealth” – would 815 be an example of that?

  5. john m says:

    As as Bishop Gene said (paraphrased), ‘watch them flock to us’. A rough linear extraplation of the attendance data from 2001 through 2009 shows a zero ASA in another 12 years. Another case of diversity versus Christianity fails to win.

  6. robroy says:

    If you go to the [url=http://www.grace-epi.org/about.php ]website[/url], you can see a couple of the pictures. It looks like a beautiful building. The article fails to mention that the “diversity” push has attendance plummeting. It has fallen from 125 to 75 since 2001. Given those stats, one wonders what this means:
    [blockquote]Many churches in Philadelphia proper are facing financial troubles and dwindling attendance, Eoyang said. Although Grace Epiphany still could use growth in membership, it isn’t struggling quite as much as other churches in the diocese.[/blockquote]
    Needs growth in membership? How about start with stopping the hemorrhaging? Is this “preserving the legacy” of those that gave to the Episcopal Church (when it was a Church)? Hopefully, the edifice will fall into the hands of Christians who preach the Gospel instead of those that pawn off a fake social gospel.

    It is interesting that the article talks about “the bishop” without mentioning Bennison’s name.

  7. lostdesert says:

    Bennison, is he still there? Is there no one in TEC who has the moral courage to get rid of any of these people? I thought he was gone, finally. Yikes.

  8. elliottj says:

    I believe church attendance at Grace has largely been falling due to attrition. Thomas has only been the rector at the church since 2007, not 2004 as the article says. The rector before that was apparently pretty unpopular, so some of the fall-off could be attributable to that.

    Sure, attendance numbers are pretty flat at around 75 presently, but there looks to be an marked increase in new membership. This is predominantly due to the energy of new members not wanting to see this beautiful historic church become yet another statistic of the decline of religion across all denominations right across the planet.

    One thing I should note is that there is no real push for diversity; the entire neighborhood in which the church is situated you could call diverse. Grace is merely appealing to this demographic.