Monday, January 7, 2019

Will Grace Episcopal Close? It’s Looking More and More Likely

Estimates suggest that 60 percent of church buildings constructed after WWII will close in the next decade. Currently, 100-200 churches close every week, with most of those closing focused primarily on the needs of their members, versus reaching out into the community. Indeed, less than 20 percent of Americans attend church regularly—yet Bob Malm’s response when members leave is, “Why should I give a fuck?” (Yes, his exact words. There were witnesses.)

Will Grace be a church that closes?

Events of the past few years, the church’s refusal to confront the economic and other realities facing it, and the conduct of both clergy and some members suggest Grace will be among those closing.

As one long-time parish employee once said to me (herself an Episcopalian);

“I would never belong to your church, and it’s because of the way people talk to each other, and it goes right to the top. And I’ll tell you right now, Bob will never say anything about it. And because he engages in a certain amount of it himself, he shows it’s okay”

At the time, I foolishly took Bob’s side. I have since admitted to that person that she was right; I was wrong.

Abandoned Episcopal Church

One thing is clear to me: If Grace is going to survive, drastic changes need to happen. Otherwise, it does not have long to go. Simply doing the same thing, day in, day out, year in, year out will result in more of the same—a rapidly declining church. No surprise there.

Some good articles on church closings:








https://www.episcopalcafe.com/top-ten-things-to-remember-when-closing-a-church/




(Check out my naive comments at the end!)