The Disappeared

Fascinating spinmeister article over at Episcopal Life trying to explain why Episcopal Church membership continues its decline (and in another article over here at Living Church we learn that the Episcopal Church has found itself with nearly two million dollar budget deficit as well – blamed on the beefing up of the 815 apparatus, no less!). But the part about the Diocese of Virginia is a whopper:

Measures are underway to reverse a portion of the largest decline in any of the Episcopal Church’s nine Provinces reported in 2006 — Province 3’s 15,554-member drop owing primarily to the Diocese of Virginia’s declaration of some 15 congregations “vacant” after a majority of members voted to affiliate with overseas dioceses. [Profiles of Vitality are available here.]

Yet continuing members of four of these congregations have remained, according to a report presented to Council, and are in the process of reconstituting their parishes — which may result in future posting of at least some membership gains to offset 2006 losses.

15,554 reported members gone from Province 3 alone. Where did they go? Seems like it might be a good time for this song:

http://stat.radioblogclub.com/radio.blog/skins/mini/player.swf

And catch the quote here that “continuing members of four of these congregations have remained … and are in the process of reconstituting their parishes – which may result in future posting of at least some membership gains to offset 2006 losses.” So four shadow congregations are tasked with making up the thousands and thousands of Episcopalians who are now “the disappeared?” And no reason given as to why those Episcopalians are now missing? I don’t even have the words. Time to get out the worn copy of you know what.