Episcopal House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson Kellogg Lecture 2011 (I): Courageous Change

The Episcopal Church is changing.

”¢ 87% of TEC is “non-hispanic white”
Ӣ 61% of those who attend church are women
Ӣ 33% of Episcopalians have college degrees,
32% have graduate degrees
Ӣ 30% earn $100,000 per year or more

Contrary to what many people believe, everyone in our church is not old. The fact is:

Ӣ 60% of Episcopalians are 49 or younger. Only 13% are 65+.
Kirk Hadaway, research specialist for the Episcopal Church tells
me that just 10 years ago the Episcopal Church had 2.3 million
members. In 2009 it was 2.0 million.
Ӣ Since 1999 our membership has declined by 300,000.

Although the number of ordained Episcopal clergy has increased during the past decade, the number serving congregations dropped by 800, from 6,062 to 5,262.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Deputies President, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

21 comments on “Episcopal House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson Kellogg Lecture 2011 (I): Courageous Change

  1. Polycarp says:

    The Episcopal Church is changing: It is 87% white and 61% female. Either Bonnie measures change in geological terms or this is a non-sequitur.

  2. J. Champlin says:

    Does anyone else think, “60% are 49 or younger” sounds fishy? Especially as I believe the source of the factoid that the average Episcopalian in church is a 57 or 58 year old woman is Kirk Hadaway (I forget the exact age, but it was high fifties)? Other than that, none of this has anything at all to do with the church; or, for that matter, would have any credibility outside the confines of motivational seminars.

  3. ThinkingAboutItAll says:

    My hunch is that the Diocese of Haiti is being included which, brothers and sisters though they are (Hallelujah!), they skew what is presented here.

  4. David Fischler says:

    Contrary to what many people believe, everyone in our church is not old.

    Does this particular form of grammatical malpractice get on anyone else’s nerves? She means, “not all the people in our church are old,” but instead asserts that there are no old people in the church. Aaarrrgh!

  5. Jim the Puritan says:

    There is nothing in this presentation that is recognizably Christian.

  6. J. Champlin says:

    Well done David Fischler! I missed that altogether.

  7. Brien says:

    Hey, Jim…in #5, There is something that is probably accidentally Christian in it and (OMG) hideously and hopelessly (and not courageous at all) politically incorrect. She needs an editor. Here is the offense:
    [blockquote] The symbol being used in these lectures as the “theological footnote” symbol is a photo of a petroglyph in Three Rivers, New Mexico. The creation of the petroglyphs between about 900 and 1400 AD are attributed to the Jornada Mogollon people. You will see this image throughout the lectures.[/blockquote]
    Even a dinosaur like myself knows that referring to a date as “AD” instead of “CE” is bad enough in itself, but dating an artistic or cultural relic of a non-Christian people in such terms is all but unforgivable. I can just imagine the enlightened audience in Cambridge shifting nervously as she said this little bit!

    Someone…anyone…please tweet Bonnie and let her know that her next lecture needs to atone (not meant to be a Christian reference in any way) for this gross insult to the Jornada Mogollon and for that matter all of New Mexico.

  8. Jim the Puritan says:

    I wish someone would start pounding on TEC’s invention of the “baptismal covenant.” It is a desecration of the meaning of baptism, as far as I am concerned.

    It also grates on me every time I hear one of these folks talk about my obligation to embrace non-Christian actions under my “baptismal covenant.” To wit:

    [blockquote]”And if it is a true Christian community, it is where people hold us accountable to the promises we make at our baptism.” [/blockquote]

    I thank God I received a Christian baptism under the 1928 Prayer Book, not one under the TEC religion. But exactly how does it work for them to claim that all of us who received a Christian baptism are still somehow accountable to conform with their heterodox theology? This in itself should demonstrate that we are not part of the TEC religion.

    We should strenuously and vocally object every time the heresy of “baptismal covenant” is raised. There is no such thing in Scripture, or in any prayer book until that of TEC in 1979.

  9. Brien says:

    Jim, What is it specifically in the eight questions of the Baptismal Covenant that causes you concern? As a priest for nearly 35 years, I am most annoyed that the only question of the eight that seems to matter in most discussion is the one about the dignity of every human being. The apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread, repenting, believing in the Trinity, proclaiming the gospel, serving Christ in others…none of that bothers me. Does it you? Even question eight in itself isn’t an issue, as long as the other seven are part of it. I have heard lots of complaint about the Baptismal Covenant, but little specific.

    Before you reach any conclusions about me or my beliefs, let me tell you myself. I’m an unreconstructed Anglo-Catholic; a member of the SSC, a one-time fulltime church politician, once chaplain to Bishop Pope of Fort Worth, and I have been involved in the cause of orthodoxy in the Episcopal Church for nearly four decades.

  10. Jim the Puritan says:

    Here’s my position. The “baptismal covenant” has nothing to do with the rite of baptism, it is a TEC add-on, and yet it is put forward as being the meaning of baptism. Baptism is a visible sign of our repentance and commitment to follow the Lord. The “BC” on the other hand, is asserted as the basis we must embrace sexual immorality in the church as being good, among other things. It also puts forth the false theology that the baptized are full members of the church and redeemed, which is also false. For those baptized as infants, this only comes at the time of confirmation, when a personal commitment is made to follow Christ. The 1979 Prayer Book rewrite short-circuits this, and sets us up for the argument that those baptized are entitled to full participation in church (i.e., holding offices as priest or bishop), no matter how much their personal lives are an offense to God.

    It also falsely teaches that being baptized as a Christian is a contract between the baptized and God–the “covenant.” That is false, we become Christians by pure unmerited grace of God. Unlike the Old Testament, the “new covenant” is the blood of Jesus, not a set of promises made to earn your way to Heaven. And yet TEC teaches that you must fulfill the “baptismal covenant” to be in right relationship with God.

  11. J. Champlin says:

    I know I shouldn’t do this. I’m going to regret it. But, I’m with Brien on this one. It seems to me the “Baptismal Covenant” is better than the use that has been made of it. It’s hard to argue with restoring active profession of the Apostle’s Creed to the heart of the Baptismal liturgy. The five questions that follows are redundant of the renunciations and affirmations on the one hand and the prayers for the candidates on the other. The rite would not be seriously harmed by their absence. Still, they include a promise to repent and return (sadly, routinely ignored). For that matter, “the dignity of every human being” is a phrase solidly grounded in Catholic social teaching (sadly, routinely abused). The “Covenant” language does lend itself to a kind of works-righteousness, which, Jim, I’m using is shorthand for your critique. I have no idea how they hit on it. But “Covenant” also represents God’s commitment to us in Christ (and there’s solid NT support for that), the work of grace, affirmed in the Apostle’s Creed and in the sacrament itself: we are buried with Christ in Baptism and share in his resurrection.

  12. robroy says:

    There was a [url=http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Of-Storks-and-the-Canaries-Frederick-Schmidt-03-28-2011.html?print=1 ]missive put out by a SMU faculty member a month ago that stated the average Episcopalian was 57 year old female[/url]. However, this relied on statistics presented by Dean Munday from a few years back and almost assuredly is dated. Our good Doktor Statmann has pointed out the declining baptism rate signaling an aging population. I would very much like to know the current median age. It would also be interesting to see how the median age is changing with respect to time. If it is growing by one year each year, that would be there is absolutely no new blood. Unfortunately, the way Kirk Hadaway presents the data, one can’t get at the median age.

    That being said, Ms Anderson is so very off the mark, it is quite remarkable. The data can be found in [url=http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Episcopal_Congregations_Overview_Charts.ppt ]figure 4[/url]. Ms Anderson states that only 13% are 65+ years old. The actual figure is that 30% of TEc-ers are 65+. And 15% + 10% + 19% of TEc-ers are less than 49 years old. I think that Ms Anderson switches the TEc numbers with the general population. The graph shows that 13% of the general population are 65+. She states that the percentage of TEc-ers less than 49 years old is 60%, the actual figure is only 44% (and this includes children). But the graph shows the general population less than 49 years old is 28% + 20% + 22% which equals 70% not 60%. Perhaps, Ms Anderson can’t add properly as well as switches red and blue?

    I would exclude children from TEc members. If one does this, only 34% of adult TEc-ers are 49 or younger. 30% are 50-64 years old and 35% are 65+. Or about 2/3rds are past procreation. The TEc is doomed. This is especially true because Ms Schori points out the TEC-ers are really smart, so they don’t reproduce even if they are young enough that they could.

  13. rwkachur says:

    Tongue in cheek time…Maybe it was a color issue on the chart. I mean TEC could not possibly choose RED for the color to represent itself, not here in America. We ALL know what color red is for here in the USA. Now, if we were in Europe, that would be different…
    Please Remove Tongue From Cheek.
    I agree with Robroy, it was likely a mis-reading of the chart. What astounds me is she no doubt very familiar with the data, so it is hard to imagine how she could have dropped the ball on this one. I am NOT saying it was deliberate. At best it was an honest mistake, but following close on its heels is self-deception

  14. Stefano says:

    How interesting that when I click the link to “read it all” I find this message
    [blockquote]…The page you requested cannot be found. The page you are looking for may have been removed, had its name changed…[/blockquote] on both the Kellogg lecture stories. It was working a few days ago…something to hide????

  15. robroy says:

    rwkachur, I think your are on to something. Kirk Hadaway is probably stuck in the old assumptions – the TEc is the Republican Party at prayer. Now, it is the cutting edge of the bluest of blue inclusive green church.

  16. Undergroundpewster says:

    Try this link http://bit.ly/iNbwF7

  17. Undergroundpewster says:

    [blockquote]”How many people here are retired? I want to ask you something – what are you retired from? Baptismal ministry? Causing trouble? Speaking up? Being prophetic? Making a difference? Bringing about a reconciled world? Praying, loving, worshipping. Guess what, you are not retired – you are set free to be courageous with abandon. Remember our Church’s prophetic voices of times past? Where are the prophetic voices of our Church now? Who are they? What are they saying?”[/blockquote]

    They are here, and they are saying, “Shut up and worship the Lord!”

  18. Pb says:

    The baptismal covenenant (respect the dignity of every human being) was put there as the basis for the inclusion of all groups as part of the mission of the church. I do not believe that Paul would have used this. Something about all having sinned.

  19. Rob Eaton+ says:

    I happen to like Figure 10 from the power point that Robroy linked in #12. It shows the current tenures of clergy in their congregation. One thing seems sure. You cannot blame the continuing decline of membership and ASA on long-tenured clergy. And the corollary, new ordinands, whatever age, are not turning the situation around.
    Or perhaps that should be vice versa. New ordinands are not turning things around, and you can’t blame older clergy (or at least the current “older” clergy) for the lack of turnaround.

  20. C. Wingate says:

    re 12: The “average age of a parishioner is 57” line is an urban legend that made the rounds some years ago, attached to every mainline denomination out there. Obviously the estimate of around 50 that Hadaway gave me back in 2005 is outdated but it cannot be much higher than that.