HYPOCRITICAL & New Research says non-Christians are likely to say Christians do not represent the teachings of Jesus, illustrating a disconnect between how Christians and non-Christians view Christianity.

By Emily McFarlan Miller, Jack Jenkins, Religion News Service, 3/9/22.

Ask a Christian to describe other Christians and the answers likely will be “giving,” “compassionate,” “loving” and “respectful.”

Ask a non-Christian, on the other hand, and the more likely descriptors you’ll get for Christians are “hypocritical,” “judgmental” and “self-righteous.”

Non-Christians are also far more likely to say Christians do not represent the teachings of Jesus.

Those are the results of a new surveyconducted by the Episcopal Church, released Wednesday (March 9), that illustrates stark differences between how Christians and non-Christians view Christianity in the United States. 

“There is a disconnect between the reality of Jesus and the perceived reality of Christians,” said Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Strong majorities of evangelical Protestants (71%), mainline Protestants (59%), other Protestants (65%) and other Christians (61%) said they viewed Christians overall as compassionate, as did 46% of Catholics. However, only 15% of those who belong to other religions said the same, and the number was even lower among people who claim no religious affiliation (12%).

The ratio roughly flipped when respondents hypocritical: Most religiously unaffiliated Americans said yes (55%), whereas 20% or less of all Christian groups agreed. Evangelicals in particular were the least likely (12%) to describe Christians as hypocritical.

Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2022/03/09/episcopal-bishop-curry-says-more-to-do-as-poll-shows-christians-seen-as-hypocrites/?trrr

LITURGY & Episcopalian ministry among millenials: When worship works.

by Jason Evans [Episcopal Diocese of Washington] 5/8/15.

…Almost every Sunday, I visit a different parish within our Diocese. Most of the time, I meet at least one or two young people who have found their way into the Episcopal tradition. Each time, I make it a point to talk with them about what brought them to their church. Whenever I listen to their stories a sense of hope rises up within me…

In his book, You Lost Me, David Kinnaman writes that there is a “43 percent drop-off between the teen and early adult years in terms of church engagement.” The Pew Research Center reported that more than 25 percent of millennials were unaffiliated with a faith community. This is enough to concern any rector or vestry member. But it isn’t a complete picture of what is happening amongst emerging adults. The National Study of Youth & Religion tracked the religious transitions of young people over a five-year period. Sociologist Christian Smith wrote in his book Souls in Transition that the study found mainline Protestants were “… relatively good at attracting new emerging adults who grew up in other religious traditions–good enough, in fact, to hold their own over these five years in terms of overall ‘market share.’”

Referring to anyone as a “market share” makes my skin crawl a bit. But you get his point–enough emerging adults are finding their way into the Episcopal Church to abate what would otherwise be a steeper decline. So, what are we doing right? In order to answer, I thought we should ask some of those I’ve met in our Diocese.

I met Dongbo Wang, a young scientist, a few months ago. He is a member of Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, MD. Dongbo did not grow up Episcopalian. But he clearly remembers the first time he walked into an Episcopal parish while in graduate school. “When I walked through those doors, I thought to myself, this is what church is supposed to feel like,” he told me during our conversation. “It was something I couldn’t analyze as a scientist. It was something that felt right–I felt connected. The year before I had visited more than 20 churches and never felt that.”

Like Dongbo, Tiffany Koebel is a young adult who did not grow up Episcopalian. Today, she is a member of All Saints in Chevy Chase, MD. For Tiffany, the Episcopal Church provided a consistent, reliable religious culture that countered what Tiffany referred to as, “a culture constantly fixated on the ‘next big thing.’” She discovered more of a depth of theology in the liturgy during one worship service at All Saints than she had experienced in years attending churches of other traditions. “I was struck by the richness of the liturgy,” she shares, “and the central role of Scripture in the service.”

Read more at … https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/article/ministry-among-millenials-when-worship-works

And for more innovative ways some Episcopal churches are reaching out see this article … Church Has No Walls But Many Doors Accessible to Seekers.


FACILITIES & Episcopal Church makes settlement offer to let parishes take $500 million in property #JohnWesleyWouldAgree

by Jennifer Berry Hawes, Post and Courier Newspaper, Jun 15 2015.

The Episcopal Church and its local diocese have pitched a settlement offer that would allow 35 parishes that defected in 2012 to take roughly $500 million in church properties with them in a bid to end the long-running ecclesiastical split that has reached the state Supreme Court.

The parishes haven’t formally responded, but a high-ranking cleric said the olive branch will not be accepted. “It was unanimously rejected by all the parties to the litigation,” the Rev. Jim Lewis said.

The offer to end a protracted legal battle would include some of Charleston’s most historic colonial parishes: St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s churches in downtown Charleston, Old St. Andrew’s in West Ashley and Christ Church in Mount Pleasant. In exchange, the national church would keep the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina name and identifying marks, along with St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, the bishop’s residence and trust funds worth several millions…

The S.C. Supreme Court set Sept. 23 to hear arguments in the lawsuit. “We are a hearing away from this case being settled for good and for all. It seems prudent to see that to the end,” said Lewis, canon to the ordinary for the Diocese of South Carolina, a group led by Bishop Mark Lawrence that left the national church in 2012…

Acrimony between the feuding groups goes back years and even decades as progressive and traditionalist wings of The Episcopal Church splintered over scriptural interpretations related to everything from women’s ordination and homosexuality to the nature of salvation.

In all, five dioceses nationwide left The Episcopal Church, the American province of the global Anglican Communion. In 2012, Lawrence and two-thirds of parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina, which spans the eastern half of the state, announced they were leaving and then sued the national church, arguing the diocese voluntarily joined the national church — and can leave as freely. They claim rights to the parishes’ properties along with the diocese’s name and identifying marks.

The global Anglican Communion’s official website lists The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, which vonRosenberg heads, as its recognized members. Therefore, Lawrence has been committing false advertising by presenting himself as bishop and should be stopped, partly because the similarity in diocesan names is confusing, the complaint contends. That case is ongoing.

“It is our hope to reconcile and that we can redirect money and expenses used in legal battles toward the mission of the church and greater fulfillment of what we are called to do,” vonRosenberg said..

Read more at … http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150615/PC16/150619613/1180/episcopal-church-makes-settlement-offer-to-let-parishes-take-500-million-in-property