Coming Soon: Parochial Report Results

One of the great traditions of the Episcopal Church is about to again to hit the radars of us governance weenies. In just a few days, the national church will report the results of the annual parochial report, a tradition that dates to the earliest days of the church. Reporting a variety of statistical data that reflects the… Read More »

Episcopal Church Struggles With Eucharistic Theology Amidst Pandemic

During the late twentieth century, The Episcopal Church experienced a sea change as the liturgical renewal movement transformed the Holy Eucharist to the focus of divine worship in the church. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, upended those changes, and the church is struggling to discern a path forward. Prior to the liturgical renewal movement, many parishes celebrated Holy… Read More »

Race and The Episcopal Church: Too Little, Too Late?

With much of the United States in turmoil over the death of African-American subjects in police custody, faith communities need to ask the questions, “What is our responsibility in this? Are we culpable?” In the case of The Episcopal Church, the answers to these questions are not good. Consider: It now has been more than 50 years since… Read More »

Is Church the Most Dangerous Place to be During the Pandemic?

Church.  For many, even the unchurched. the word brings to mind comforting, familiar images. Images of Christmases and Easter long gone, glorious colors swirling through stained glass windows, playing out against reassuringly solid walls. Familiar sounds, scents, intermixed with friendly, welcoming faces. But is that image realistic during the pandemic? Or might the comfort many find in church… Read More »

Transparency and Communication During the Pandemic

Let’s face it. Churches generally aren’t good at communication. Nor are they great at transparency. But both are vital in these unprecedented times of pandemic. So why are churches so bad at these things? The answers are myriad, but several come to mind: Clergy trained in homiletics may be great talkers. But they often are lousy listeners and… Read More »

Failure of Episcopal Dioceses and Churches to Adopt Current Policies to Prevent Abuse Disrespects Abuse Survivors

During the 2015 General Convention (GC) of The Episcopal Church, two measures were passed that addressed abuse in the church. Measure 2015-A073 authorized the updating of Model Policies for the Protection of Children, while Measure 2015-A074 called for the update of the Safe Church Training Materials.  The work was done by a GC-appointed task farce spearheaded by the eminently capable… Read More »

COVID-19, Love, and Regret

Recently I read an article from a nearby church talking about its reasons for shutting down in-person worship. Much of the content was predictable, but one portion really resonated for me. That was the comment that love requires us to minimize the possibility of regret. The concept of minimizing the possibility of regret is useful as we think… Read More »

Dumb and Dumber: Episcopal Bishops Fumble COVID-19 Response

Here in Virginia, where The Episcopal church spent much of the last decade noisily arguing in court that it is a hierarchy, there’s a not-so-delicious irony afoot. That is that the church’s response to the COVID-19 emergency has been inept, disorganized, and inchoate on multiple levels. In fact, it’s looking like something straight out of a congregational polity.… Read More »