“Reunification might not be the right thing everywhere in the Episcopal Church,” Jennings said. “But I think it’s a hopeful sign that people within the church are willing to try new things. It shows the rest of the church that we can do things different ways and there are new ways of being able to collaborate.”
Others, however, are skeptical that reunification will do much to help a church struggling with internal dissent and decreasing membership.
“I think the right way to see it is as a face-saving attempt of a denomination that’s facing significant internal hemorrhaging,” said the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, an Episcopal scholar in the Diocese of South Carolina. Though the geography makes sense, he said, “it does not reflect the kind of radical restructuring that needs to happen.”