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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 10:25AM #11
GRobit625
Posts: 1,974

I don't think this is a liberal vs. moderate vs. conservative issue on the number of dioceses and amount of clergy, it's a common sense issue. For instance, take the diocese of Eastern Oregon. That diocese has less than 3,000 people in it on the rolls, and more than likely less of those attend weekly Mass and contribute to the life of the parish. There are no need for dioceses such as these. They should merge. In LA, there are 500 something priests, not all of those priests are rectors and/or with a parish in some capacity. All of these priests, and the local Anglo-Catholic parish here can't find an Anglo-Catholic priest to help the priest there at that parish. What is the point for them if they aren't even being useful? Time to pick up another trade and stop further draining the Church of resources that it doesn't have.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 11:38AM #12
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,920

Mar 28, 2012 -- 10:25AM, GRobit625 wrote:


I don't think this is a liberal vs. moderate vs. conservative issue on the number of dioceses and amount of clergy, it's a common sense issue. For instance, take the diocese of Eastern Oregon. That diocese has less than 3,000 people in it on the rolls, and more than likely less of those attend weekly Mass and contribute to the life of the parish. There are no need for dioceses such as these. They should merge. In LA, there are 500 something priests, not all of those priests are rectors and/or with a parish in some capacity. All of these priests, and the local Anglo-Catholic parish here can't find an Anglo-Catholic priest to help the priest there at that parish. What is the point for them if they aren't even being useful? Time to pick up another trade and stop further draining the Church of resources that it doesn't have.




Agreed. In our area, we have a very large Methodist Church that has a larger population than our entire Diocese. Recently, our Diocesan Convention passed a Resolution instructing Diocesan Council to examine possible merger with our neighboring Dioceses. So far, Council has ignored the Resolution.


 A clergy friend of mine gave me some statistics about our excess clergy situation but I don't remember the numbers beyond the fact that we currently have about twice as many eligible clergy as we have clergy positions.

Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 1:48PM #13
GRobit625
Posts: 1,974

I'm willing to bet it's quite a large number. That and the older priests don't seem to be retiring either, leaving the yonger ones without a ministry.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 2:49PM #14
journeying
Posts: 2,317

Most of the churches in our diocese are now missions, often healthy and active but too small to afford full time clergy. The retired clergy take on a mission for two or three days a week. We would love to be able to absorb some of the excess clergy but they can't afford to come here because we can't afford to pay them. Neither can we afford to support the beautiful old buildings. It's a major dilemma that our parish seems unwilling to face. So far.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 2:55PM #15
GRobit625
Posts: 1,974

Mar 28, 2012 -- 2:49PM, journeying wrote:


Most of the churches in our diocese are now missions, often healthy and active but too small to afford full time clergy. The retired clergy take on a mission for two or three days a week. We would love to be able to absorb some of the excess clergy but they can't afford to come here because we can't afford to pay them. Neither can we afford to support the beautiful old buildings. It's a major dilemma that our parish seems unwilling to face. So far.





And there are parishes here in LA that are struggling the same way. It wasn't an attack on the PB to say that she should care about numbers. This is a serious problem and in the current state the church is in, restructuring is a must. If dioceses have to merge and bishops have to lay down their mitres then so be it. It's a touchy subject that no one wants to face, including the PB, but it's time to face the facts.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 3:28PM #16
Dutch777
Posts: 9,113

 


[/quote]



And there are parishes here in LA that are struggling the same way. It wasn't an attack on the PB to say that she should care about numbers. This is a serious problem and in the current state the church is in, restructuring is a must. If dioceses have to merge and bishops have to lay down their mitres then so be it. It's a touchy subject that no one wants to face, including the PB, but it's time to face the facts.


Those "just numbers" are people.   No numbers, no people, no $$$$$, no church.  Every TECie from the PB down to the church mouse in the parish hall pantry better be concerned about those numbers. 


[/quote]


The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 3:50PM #17
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,920

Mar 28, 2012 -- 1:48PM, GRobit625 wrote:


I'm willing to bet it's quite a large number. That and the older priests don't seem to be retiring either, leaving the yonger ones without a ministry.




That, and I think also, we're not doing a very good job of screening applicants. Why approve a candidate for seminary when you know there is no possibility of a job afterwards?

Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 4:06PM #18
GRobit625
Posts: 1,974

Mar 28, 2012 -- 3:50PM, RJMcElwain wrote:


Mar 28, 2012 -- 1:48PM, GRobit625 wrote:


I'm willing to bet it's quite a large number. That and the older priests don't seem to be retiring either, leaving the yonger ones without a ministry.




That, and I think also, we're not doing a very good job of screening applicants. Why approve a candidate for seminary when you know there is no possibility of a job afterwards?





Absolutely. I know of someone that is sponsored by the diocese now to that is attending seminary. I don't believe she would make a good priest at all. Maybe as a deacon, but not a priest.  I know of another priest that had to go to the east coast to have work. People are being ordained left and right, but are ministry-less. Not much you can do with a M.Div in the public sector.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 4:25PM #19
journeying
Posts: 2,317

I have a friend who should be a deacon but insisted on becoming a non-stipendiary priest via the local training. She has done wonders for her parish because she has all the qualities of an excellent deacon. She is guiding the parish thru the decisions involved in either seeking a new place to worship or disbanding. She has increased attendance significantly. The building is falling apart and the congregation is too small to even begin to resurrect it. And the diocese has no money either. I can't think of a better person to be in that position. We don't always "discern" others appropriately.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 6:58PM #20
Lion_of_Leo
Posts: 60

I really believe that the United States is experiencing what Europe has been going through for a few decades: the decrease of "organized religion". I hope, however, that the Episcopal Church can point out its use of reason as a clarion call to come to her shores. Religion that is devoid of humanness is what people are fleeing from. While conservatives claim that they are not experiencing losses, every poll I have recently heard seems to tell another story. Also, the liberal denominations are seeing a loss in numbers. This is not a conservative/liberal issue, per se. I think it is much more a matter of people asking themselves if attending church is any longer is a "necessary" aspect of life in the post-modern world. The answer to our problem rests in selling the benefits of church life. These are just my humble thoughts.  

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