9/19/2011

Issues of options on use of Church properties

The Episcopal Church Building Fund has this video of Rod Webster on the current and future need for / use of/ church properties. It also posted a video of Bishop Sean Rowe on the Episcopal Church Building Fund and its role. In any discussion of church trends and concerns these are important Both are important to watch. Comments should come from members of The Episcopal Church and be constructive. If you simply see these videos as occasions to blame, go somewhere else to make your remarks. 

6 comments:

  1. Ack! I want to see what +Sean says about us. Is the rest online?

    And yes, there are many of us who read your posts and don't comment.

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  2. Well, I see the video about Trinity, New Castle, PA but it leads back to the Webster one. Ack.

    Last winter we at Christ Church in Meadville, PA were approached by a couple of dreamers about using our parish house for a secular private school. We gave up our two Sunday School rooms for this K-2 endeavor. It began a few weeks ago. It is so wonderful to hear and see youngsters running around and to have the building open and used every day. It isn't a money maker. We hope it doesn't cost us much if anything as they are contributing. It gets our name out in the community however. Our beautiful church is a well kept secret apparently. We are still debating where to go and what to do next but we are also reorganizing a bit. For the first time we had all three people we asked to join the vestry to replace resignations accept and suddenly people are volunteering and actually doing stuff. We're grateful to +Sean for sending us a good Priest-in-Charge. So far otherwise we're working on our own and praying for an awakening among others in the parish who have dropped out.

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  3. The thing I find most disturbing is the insouciance, indeed the almost breezy way the Bishop addresses the issue.

    TEC is like a dear old house that an aged relative lives in.

    Our job is to ease old granny into an old folks home and to do it gently. By stages. Creatively.

    Is that where we now are as a church?

    Bart

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  4. Bart writes, "Is that where we now are as a church?"

    No, Bart, it isn't. There are churches (specific local church buildings) that are now no longer sustainable, the congregation having gotten small enough and / or old enough that they are no longer able to carry the weight of the buildings. And I suppose the imagery is useful at times - at some point others (the diocese, a planning group, etc) have to step in and do the task of selling the property.

    TEC is not like that "dear old house." Some parishes are.

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  5. Thank you Fr Harris for a partial clarification.

    I confess I found the breezy concession to dying--parishes or church-wide--very depressing.

    The other speaker spoke of 40 churches per year, or one diocese, simply going away.

    When I said, is this where we are as a church, I meant: are we already just accepting this reality and figuring out how to sell off properties? With this degree of equanimity?

    How very very sad.

    Lord have mercy upon us.

    Bart

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  6. I do resist some when someone suggests we model the church after business models...

    But, I wholeheartedly agree --it is time to look at our structures and think... and re-vision. It is crazy to be spending $35,000+/year (at a minimum) to heat, cool and maintain structures that no longer "work" to enhance mission.

    Now, I want to know more about this building group.... Any direct links?

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.