|The Very Rev’d Ian Markham.
The Very Rev’d Ian Markham, Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary, recently spoke at the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, on the topic, “The Myth of the Decline of The Episcopal Church.” Am not sure the good dean’s attitude is helping his case here. He seems to think it’s all pretty funny.
Official stats put out by The Episcopal Church itself show that the Episcopal Church sees at best 657,000 in the pews on Sunday mornings, as opposed to, say, the 22 million Catholics in the pews. You can read the stats here.
Dean Markham thinks TEC can grow, could grow, would grow, should grow because it has more than one service (Rite 1 and Rite 2 – but doesn’t mention that you can sort of write you own liturgy these days if you want to), that it requires “a skill set,” in order to participate (stupid people need not apply), and says without irony that TEC is “generous,” and “thoughtful,” as opposed to all those other Christians who are stingy and stupid. He also thinks that there are people who aren’t being counted on the rolls, though oddly enough, the fact that they don’t go to church anymore doesn’t seem to bother him.
How does he then describe the monumental events starting in August 2003, events that even the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia described as a legal division? Events that the Windsor Report warned is still tearing apart the fabric of the Anglican Communion?
“We are at the heart of the cultural wars and some people had real problems with it,” he says simply, “so they decided to call it a day.”
That’s it. He says that and ignores the millions and millions of dollars spent – and continues to be spent – by the Episcopal Church on lawsuits and depositions and heartbreak.
Watch it for yourself: