Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wither the church? Or, is it all about sex?

Over at the Daily Episcopalian my latest essay is up.

Short version: It's about reproduction. Conservatives do it more. That's their missionary position. Or at least three quarters of it. The other quarter is ironic because it means increased apostasy amongst their children.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Cloths of Heaven

Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

by W. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Quote of the day

Sunday's Washington Post carried a page A01 story on a Tanzanian tribe, the Hadzabe. It is an interesting story of the primitive tribe's encounter with modernity.

Among the "benefits" that have been brought to them are missions to spread Christianity. They have failed. I was struck by this wisdom from one man:

We just go to church as if we are pictures.
Our hearts and minds are not there.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Denominational fecundity,
conversion, and apostasy

I read today that:
The conservative denominations have grown more than the mainline denominations in large part because they have higher fertility, and that has given them a growth advantage. But part of conservative growth is attributable to the recent decrease in conservatives' rate of switching to mainline denominations. While the diminished influx has hurt the mainline denominations, it has not necessarily helped the conservative ones. That is because conservative denominations are losing the same fraction of their young people as they were losing 30-50 years ago; intergenerational persistence has not increased for conservative denominations. People leaving conservative denominations have just changed their destination after a switch. Conservatives used to switch to mainline denominations; recently they have chosen other religions (especially Catholicism but also some of the "other" religions) and no religion more often than they have chosen the mainline denominations.
-Michael Hout; Andrew Greeley; Melissa J. Wilde

Monday, June 04, 2007

Blogsite amplifies Church's cyber voice

Episcopal News Service provides a nice review, "Episcopal Café serves up nourishing spiritual food online." Try it, you'll like it.

I liked this bit the most:
The Café offers accessibility, Shott believes, like "a youth baseball game where people gather and talk about the real events in their lives, about what to do about an aging parent, or surgery, or some pressing deep consideration. I can't tell you how many of these conversations I've had. I look around the group and say 'boy, they don't know anything about the Episcopal Church, where are we?' This is where the church needs to be."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Recommended

Kit Carlson's essay today at the Daily Episcopalian:
I wonder why we have roared on past the thoughtful, balanced, relational and wise reflections of the Virginia Report, to make the Windsor Report a club with which to beat up on some members of the Communion. I wonder why we have abandoned discussion of koinonia and the doctrine of the Trinity to craft a Covenant that is neither interdependent nor relational. ...

How can we work through Windsor without understanding and living out the vision of Virginia? How can we craft a Covenant when we have yet to strive for koinonia?