Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Friday, May 13, 2011

CAPT Cliffford, CHC, USN (ret) Speaks of TEC Decline, USA

Captain George Clifford, CHC, USN (ret) summarizes his findings on TEC, USA.  George and I once had a stroll through Puerta della Maria, Spain years ago.  We discussed theology, ahem, or let me say there was a one-sided soliloquy about Protestant, Reformed, Calvinistic Anglicans; being handicapped, theologically, he did not do well.  All he could offer was some dismissive snickers.  George was a former Baptist who told a friend of mine, another Navy Chaplain, that he became an Episcopalian because there would be preferrments and better chances of promotion.  He switched while in the Navy.  Curiously, he lives in this neck of the woods of NC.  That's some background and more could be said.  Having said that, George offers some happy statistics about the TEC.  His findings were posted by VOL.

To prove the point, George Clifford, a priest in the Diocese of North Carolina, drew attention to a recent report on Episcopal Congregations with findings from the 2010 Faith Communities Today Survey. The survey revealed that:

*The median age for Episcopalians is 57, and that of active clergy is 58

*30% of Episcopalians are age 65+, as compared to 13% of U.S. population

*Unless the median age falls or we live longer, half of us will have died by 2030

*While 52% of our churches are in communities of 50,000 or less and 8% are in rural areas, U.S. urbanization proceeds apace

*86.2% of our churches are mostly white, 5.6% multi-racial, 4.9% mostly Black

*The median congregation had 160 active members in 2009, down from 182 in 2003

*Median attendance in our some 7000 congregations is dropping at the rate of five attendees every three years and was 66 in 2009. At this rate, median attendance will be 31 in 15 years, and 6 in 30 years

*As median attendance drops, the percentage of a church's budget spent on property and personnel, in contrast to program and mission, rises, as do conflicts over money

*28% of parishes and missions reported that their finances were "excellent" or "good" in 2010, compared to 56% in 2000.

Clifford writes of The Episcopal Church, "Unless TEC reverses the decline; TEC will soon become a remnant numbering in the tens of thousands. When that happens, the media will not care, and few non-Episcopalians will even notice, what the Episcopal Church says or does. TEC will no longer be a vital incarnation of God's love in Christ. Instead, TEC will have gone from being the established church in several eighteen century American colonies and states to being a twenty-first century anachronism."

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