A story we Missed Last Summer about an Episcopal Church in Michigan which Closed

A local church slated for closure is getting heat from parishioners who say church officials hid information about the closure and that in closing the church they are violating the Episcopal Cannons that govern it.

St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, 15717 Stephens, will hold its last service on June 24 before completely closing down at the end of the month. For many longtime parishioners, the news came as a surprise.

They say it was first announced less than a month ago, but church representatives say the closure has been a long time coming.

Read it all.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

9 comments on “A story we Missed Last Summer about an Episcopal Church in Michigan which Closed

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Canons not Cannons! Big Difference.

  2. Undergroundpewster says:

    Other than to mention an aging congregation, the story does not go into reasons for how the parish has declined.

  3. stjohnsrector says:

    according to the parochial reports attendance is relatively steady from 2000 to 2009 around 100, with a slight drop in 2010. They claim to go from 250 baptized members in 2000 to 350 in 2010, with a high of income pledge/plate in 2006 (over $160,000) to a low of $130,000 in 2010. http://pr.dfms.org/study/exports/8959-0905_20120914_10075040.pdf

  4. Don R says:

    Violating cannons can be [i]very[/i] dangerous!

  5. KevinBabb says:

    The interesting thing is that, with membership of 300-350, ASA of about 90, and pledge and plate of around $130K, the metrics for this congregation compare very favorably with most Episcopal congregations. I wonder what were the criteria for closing it. It was probably doing better, from a quantitative point of view, than 2/3 of Episcopal congregations. They did have a fairly big drop in income for the last year, and perhaps they looked at the aging pattern of the congregation and projected a terminal situation. But it would seem hasty to close a congregation of 350 members on the basis of one hard year, especially since the congregation apparently has a substantial endowment (the article says that pledge and plate was only 1/2 of total revenue). Is there something else going on in this situation beyond what the numbers would show?

  6. C. Wingate says:

    Hmmmm, I smell fish here. If one looks at the two church websites in wayback land, one sees that the rector of St. G’s (who according to their old site had been there since 2000) was (also?) made rector of Grace, Mount Clemens in 2010. One can also see an abrupt shift in Grace Church’s website at about that time. The clergy finder shows a deacon assigned to St. Gabe’s who also shows up on the parish website.

    What’s also striking is that St. G’s made a big thing about being an Inclusive (with a big capital I) parish, whereas Grace’s old website was about as basic as could be, and no proclamations about anything. Well, now the Grace site is full of bragging about how Inclusive they are any how great everything is and so forth. It’s hard not to conclude that there’s more to this than one sees in the news story.

  7. Statmann says:

    Hat tip to StJohnRector for the St Gabriel Chart which is already gone from TEC source. Where did you find it? And C. Wingate is spot on. The Red Book lists Rev Bock as Rector of St Gabriel and Website states that Rev Bock has been Rector of Grace in Mt Clemens since 2000. Very strange. Statmann

  8. stjohnsrector says:

    Statman – I just googled Episcopal Church Parochial reports and found the page to get the info on ASA, etc. Grace says she has been there since 2010 (not 2000), but the article in the paper implies she was still rector of St. Gabriel’s in 2012.

  9. Statmann says:

    stjohnrector: Thanks for the info and the correction to the 2000 to 2010 mistake. Statmann