The Anglican Church in North America has reported an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) with some precision as 81,311. That is a much more exact number than the round number of 100,000 offered in various earlier contexts. One conservative blogger notes that it is important to ACNA folk to be as precise as possible about their numbers. I quite agree. With an ASA of 81,311 there is good reason to argue that the total number related to ACNA is probably between 160,000 to 240,000, on the grounds that if these Anglicans are more or less like most Episcopalians, somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of its membership appears on averaged. Thinking Anglicans would suggest these numbers (both ACNA's and mine) are a bit high.
Be that as it may, George Conger has written an article titled, "US: 100,000 defect" which appeared on the Church of England Newspaper on 2/20. The old number 100,000 reappears, this time as "defections." In the article Conger says, "The average Sunday attendance for the ACNA’s 693 congregations is81,311, with an estimated membership in excess of 100,000, the reportfinds." If 100,000 represents the membership of ACNA, then the vigorous ASA rate is about 80%. If so ACNA is to be congratulated. If so, also, ACNA is much smaller than either TA or Preludium have thought, being roughly 1/20th the size of The Episcopal Church.
The most interesting note on the Conger report, however, is the label "defections." The readers of the CofENewspaper are to suppose that this 100,000 are all defections from The Episcopal Church.
This is not the case, even in the Conger article itself. I suspect that most Reformed Episcopal Church members were not previously members of TEC, and AMiA has made a real point of new starts and mission outreach to people who have had nothing to do with TEC. As for the others, yes, they are defectors, although I doubt they would call themselves that.
One way or another the articles is no help at all. Not all 100,000 members (whatever they count) have defected from TEC. That number may not represent all of ACNA at all.
The number 100,000 comes up, dear friends, because it came up in earlier postings from the Common Cause Partnership. It is an unhelpful number, and all the more so when characterized as being the number of defections.