Dwindling membership forces Eastern Oregon Episcopal Church’s closure

More than a century of…[Episcopal] worship in Nyssa is coming to a close.

Dwindling membership has led St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to seek permission to close. After several months spent looking for options, the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon has consented.

“There are so few of them,” the Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna “Nedi” Rivera said. “Several of the members are older and some of them have moved away to places where they can get ”¦ care or be near family.”

Read it all.


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

5 comments on “Dwindling membership forces Eastern Oregon Episcopal Church’s closure

  1. MichaelA says:

    What is the background to this – does the closure of this church mean that Anglican witness has disappeared from the area, or is there an ACNA or Continuum congregation nearby?

  2. TomRightmyer says:

    Nyssa is not far – 15 miles or so – from Ontario, Oregon, where there is an Episcopal church. Closing small churches is going to be a continuing issues for many rural dioceses. The newspaper article does not indicate what efforts have been made to provide services in this community. I’d be interested in seeing what work the diocese has done over the years.

  3. TomRightmyer says:

    The Ontario church claims ASA of about 40. The Nyssa church had 15 members in 2004. There is more to this situation than the newspaper article.

  4. Jeff Walton says:

    Eastern Oregon has been hit as badly as anywhere in the Episcopal Church: from 3,289 members in 2003 to 1,999 in 2014 (-39%). Attendance has dropped from 1,267 in 2003 to 935 in 2014 (-26%). The entire diocese only had three children confirmed last year, and only 16 marriages performed (compared to 66 funerals).

    Conservatives may be tempted to celebrate: don’t. There is not a single ACNA mission in Eastern Oregon. The high desert has always been difficult territory, with few Christian churches and a heavy Mormon presence. I doubt we’ll see any ACNA activity in places like Pendleton or Baker City for a long time, although I could envision a young church planter settling in Bend. Pray for all of these places.

  5. MichaelA says:

    Thanks for these responses, all very interesting. So it looks like this is not just an issue of little Anglican presence, but little Christian presence of any kind.

    I agree that prayer is the appropriate response – may the Lord provide the right workers to bring in this particular harvest. The One who sent Paul to the Macedonians, and St Chad to the pagan Saxons, can raise up the right people for this.