(RNS) Cathy Grossman–What is the Episcopal Church?

Has this church has gone from influential to afterthought, from elite to obscure, in record time? Yes and no.

It was always a small church but at least people knew it was an American Protestant denomination without being told. And they knew many of the Founding Fathers and 11 U.S. presidents prayed in Episcopal pews.

Now, when even the U.S. Supreme Court has no Protestant justices, that’s no longer common knowledge. Hence, the Post’s rare-bird-sighting treatment complete with taxonomy.

We have seen whole American religious landscape shift, denominational lines blur and points of religious distinction ”” theological and cultural ”” flatten out.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Media, Religion & Culture

8 comments on “(RNS) Cathy Grossman–What is the Episcopal Church?

  1. David Keller says:

    That is the only thing about the Post article that I noticed. I admittedly already knew the underlying story. But I even called my wife and read that paragraph to her.

  2. CSeitz-ACI says:

    I suppose one serious question is whether in 7 years TEC will drop below 1M. Given birth rates, average age, average size of congregation, it ought to be relatively easy to work out via an amortization schedule. Reflexively, the author of he Post Article accepts this miniature stature. I suspect the other reality is that, when a church only imitates the culture, it will soon be seen as an irrelevance — even by secularists.

  3. sophy0075 says:

    I wonder how many of that “1.86 million” supposedly in TEC are merely TEC’s miscounting of folks who have left.

  4. MichaelA says:

    This drives home the importance of church planting by ACNA. Moving into the shell of TEC’s former influence (as ACNA seems to be doing in at least a few places) is just inadequate. What is needed is the re-establishment of Anglicanism in North America – and it is a huge task.

  5. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #4 The TEC remnant is vitally important, as Sarah and others have stated (several good dioceses in CFL, Dallas, SC, Albany, TN, et al). This takes nothing away from whatever ACNA is and becomes. God alone knows what He will do with Anglican Christianity in NA. The difference between TEC and ACofC will be the next shoe to drop, given that the former is likely to make life for conservatives in TEC akin to what SC has had to endure.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    “I can’t understand. What have we to do with the Calormenes? We belong to Aslan. They belong to Tash. They have a god called Tash…They kill men on his alter. I don’t believe there’s any such person as Tash. But if there was, how could Aslan be friends with him?”

    All the animals cocked their heads sideways and all their bright eyes flashed before the Ape. They knew it was the best question anyone had asked yet.

    The Ape jumped up and spat at the Lamb.

    “Baby!” he hissed. “Silly little bleater! Go home to your mother and drink milk. What do you understand of such things? But you others, listen. Tash is only another name for Aslan. All that old idea of us being right and the Calormene’s wrong is silly. We know better now. The Calormenes use different words but we all mean the same thing. Tash and Aslan are only two different names for You Know Who. That’s why there can never be any quarrel between them. Get that into your heads, you stupid brutes. Tash is Aslan; Aslan is Tash.”
    The Last Battle – C.S.Lewis

    The trouble is they do not worship the God we do.

    But now, as Tirian looked round on the miserable faces of the Narnians, and saw how they would all believe that Aslan and Tash were one and the same, he could bear it no longer.

    “Ape,” he cried with a great voice, “you lie. You lie damnably. You lie like a Calormene. You lie like an ape.”

  7. MichaelA says:

    Dr Seitz, why is the conservative remnant in TEC “vitally important” to re-establishing Anglicanism in North America?

    I do not mean that as either a rhetorical question nor a jibe. In a sense the answer is easy – even in its current stricken state (by which I refer to the ageing of its congregations as much as any decline in numbers) TEC still dwarfs all other Anglican movements combined. It is TEC, then daylight, then ACNA, then others. So if the conservative remnant had any chance of turning TEC around, they would certainly be vitally important to the issue I was talking about, which is Anglicanism in North America in general.

    But from the comments made on blogs by conservative members of TEC, I am led to wonder whether they even have any decent chance of holding on to what they have now, let alone making a change to TEC in a positive direction? It appears that the conservative bishops are not being replaced by like-minded people when they retire, and the same applies to clergy. That is of course speaking from a purely earthly point of view, and of course the Lord can do anything he likes, and may well do. He turned the fanatic Saul of Tarsus around, literally in a flash, and he can do that with anyone.

    I have no problem at all that they are staying and fighting, and I note that the orthodox Anglican primates have indicated on a number of occasions that they should do just that. But as to being “vitally important”, I guess it depends on to what it is that is meant. To obedience, to faithfulness, to nurturing those faithful souls that remain in TEC – certainly. But to re-establishing Anglicanism in North America? Well, I hope and pray that they do.

    As for ACNA, I don’t think its by any means a given that it will continue with an emphasis on church-planting and evangelism (i.e. establishing new disciples, not just taking from TEC), but I hope and pray that it does.

  8. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #7. “Well, I hope and pray that they do.” My sentiments exactly! (Please keep Dallas in your prayers during this search and election season).