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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
July 15, 2022

VOL is putting out this special digest for its readers on the occasion of the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church held in Baltimore recently.

By all accounts, the COVID-shortened Episcopal General Convention was a waste of time, talent, and treasure. Nothing was generated out of the long weekend Baltimore Convention which advanced the Gospel and furthered the Kingdom of God.

The Episcopal Church agreed to spend $100 million on a budget that will never generate one disciple for Christ.

The Presiding Bishop's Office, Finance, Legal, Governance and Operations will spend more than $55 million just to maintain the ship and keep the lights on. A mere 3% is earmarked for evangelism, which of course is not clearly defined; little more than promoting the church in the face of growing decline.

Instead, deputies and bishops focused on fast tracking Bishop Barbara Harris (Massachusetts suffragan) to Episcopal sainthood; championed unrestricted access to abortion; demoted a noted Episcopal theologian, cancelling him and putting him out with the trash; created a virtual Prayer Book to house the growing "authorized" liturgies for trial and experimental usage; dealt with The Episcopal Church's supposed "legacy of racism;" focused on increasing the church's multilingual, multilinguistic, and multicultural witness; folded TEC's former Diocese of Fort Worth into the Diocese of Texas; urged Congress to make "Lift Every Voice and Sing" a national hymn on equal footing with the Star-Spangled Banner;" determined that the climate crisis is the overarching issue that affects all the other issues of social justice; and created the Director of LBGTQI and Women's Ministries.

These are hardly winning strategies to keep parish red doors open and the crowds pouring in beyond 2040, if the church even makes it to that date.

The Episcopal Church officially did condemn crisis pregnancy centers that exist to save the lives of mothers and children.

Here's the resolution:
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention denounces the work of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, also known as Pregnancy Resource Centers; and be it further
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention apologizes for the Church's previous support of Crisis Pregnancy Centers as detailed in Resolution 1994-D105.

It's not enough to support abortion. If you're woke, you have to DENOUNCE pregnancy resource centers that help mothers prepare for their babies' arrival.
But just to cover all the bases, they also passed a resolution of support for abortion whenever and wherever.

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention recognizes that pregnancy and childbirth are dangerous undertakings that risk permanent disability and death for those who bear children; and be it further
Resolved, that the Episcopal Church reaffirms that parenthood "should be initiated only advisedly and in full accord with this understanding of the power to conceive and give birth which is bestowed by God" (1988-C047); and be it further;
Resolved, that the Episcopal Church recognizes that access to abortion is a key element in preserving the health, independence, and autonomy of those who can bear children; and be it further;
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention affirms that all Episcopalians should be able to access abortion services and birth control with no restriction on movement, autonomy, type, or timing; and be it further
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention understands that the protection of religious liberty extends to all Episcopalians who may need or desire to access, to utilize, to aid others in the procurement of, or to offer abortion services.

"It's baby murder or nothing for the Episcopalians. At least they're consistent in following their Lord & Savior Lucifer," noted https://notthebee.com/

Apparently, the 81st General Convention is slated to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted by The Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky. However, the 80th General Convention contested the selection because since Roe v Wade has been overturned, Kentucky's trigger law banning abortions kicked in. This is virtue signaling of the worst sort.

The Presiding Bishop is still pushing the Jesus Movement which does not seem to be filling pews. He defines the Jesus Movement as: "The ongoing community of people who center their lives on Jesus and following Him into loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, each other and creation."

"Loving" is not defined, (you can make it mean whatever you want it to mean); "liberating" can mean liberating heterosexuals from their homophobia so they can embrace activist homosexuals in the new TEC "doctrines" of inclusion and diversity. And so forth.

When the Presiding Bishop was elected, the membership of the entire Episcopal Church (both foreign and domestic dioceses) stood at 1,917,182. The latest 2020 figure is 1,736,882, a loss of 170,900 souls or 9.4% shrinkage.

COVID skewered the 2020 Parochial Reports because the churches were forced to shut down not only in the United States, but around the world.

The Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) in 2015 was 634,348. The 2020 ASA stands at 483,108, for a loss of 151,240 or 23.8%.

Adult baptisms took the biggest hit. In 2015, there were 4,200 baptisms worldwide in The Episcopal Church. After COVID hit, the baptisms dropped to 1,649, a loss of 2,551 adults seeking Episcopal baptism or a shedding of 60.7%.

The Plate & Pledge in 2015 was $1,313,719,167. In 2020, Plate & Pledge dropped to $1,292,571,340, or a drop in income of $21,147, 827 or 1.7% fewer coins were being dropped in the collection plate.

The inflation calculator says that $1.3 billion in 2015 would be worth $1.6 billion in today's marketplace.

The deeper question is why anyone is pouring money into the dying denomination. It's a bit like pouring money into reviving the Edsel, one of the biggest failures in car history, in the hope that it will be a threat to Elon Musk's TESLA.

Jesus' Name is easily dropped from the lips of The Episcopal Church's top leadership, but that did not translate into transformative action on the Convention floor.

The litany of General Convention actions revealed nothing to increase church membership, the celebration of the Sacraments, or the church's bottom line. The Episcopal Church is going downhill and slowly dying on the vine.

"General Convention took no action that will change the current trends of declining membership, attendance, adult baptisms and stewardship measured against inflation," the V. Rev. Kevin Martin posted on his Facebook.

Dean Martin is the retired Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew in Dallas, Texas, and he is considered one of the foremost Episcopal experts on congregational development.

"If these trends continue, I have these predictions," the Dean continued. "This was the 80th General Convention, there won't be a 90th."

Tentatively, the 90th General Convention is slated for 2051. The location has yet to be determined.

"The next Presiding Bishop, who follows Michael Curry, will be the last Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church as we know that office today," Dean Martin explained. "The church's budget and resources will continue to shrink, forcing restructuring of staff and ministries."

BY WAY OF CONTRAST, let me tell you what one Anglican missionary couple are accomplishing in their mission to bring Christ to the world focusing on the Middle East and East Africa. Their disciple making mission is called Love for the Least and here is what they have achieved in the last year for pennies on the dollar.

Baptized 935 Muslims in the Middle East.
Planted 315 Indigenous churches and discipleship groups.
75% of discipleship Group members baptized
Engaged 23 unreached People Groups in the Middle East, including 4 never before engaged People Groups.

Think about that when next you write out a check to The Episcopal Church for no conceivable end results in kingdom building.












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