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The Diocese of Easton Who Are We Now? Who Do We Want to Become?

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Presentation on theme: "The Diocese of Easton Who Are We Now? Who Do We Want to Become?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Diocese of Easton Who Are We Now? Who Do We Want to Become?

2 Basic Facts about the Diocese of Easton Encompasses 35 Parishes, 2 Missions, 1 Cathedral Chapter in 9 counties of MD’s Eastern Shore ASA is 2,714 (2013), 2.7% annual decline Smaller, rural diocese; no major metro center; some of the oldest parishes in the nation 5 parishes ASA 150+; 18 parishes ASA 50 or less 19 parishes with part-time/retired clergy Small staff (4): Bishop, Financial Admin., Administrative Asst., Communications Dir. Operating budget for 2013: $814,000

3 Who Are We? Mostly white, educated, aging, homogenous We are older, but we don’t want to be Warm and welcoming (especially to people like ourselves) Value our traditions, history and heritage Value our “church families,” esp. small parishes While we have a history of being leaders in our communities, in many places we no longer have that role, not as relevant Focus of our mission outreach is local

4 Tensions Come Here’s ↔ From Here’s Young ↔ Old Diocese: “tell us what to do” ↔ “leave us alone”

5 Our Current Strengths Worship: liturgy, music Open-minded, tolerant, accepting Sense of Place Outreach ministries in our local communities

6 Our Current Challenges Education and Training: a need for knowledge and skills Mission Disconnect: Evangelism missing, downplayed. Mission needs to have both outreach and evangelism—do not put our lights under bushel baskets! Increased competition from other societal obligations and alternatives: the world is different and we need to adapt Lack of youth and young families in many congregations: our future is dying without them

7 What Do You Imagine the Church Could Become? A Church with a Clear Mission Better Outreach, especially to the sick, the poor, the underserved. More Welcoming – increase the diversity of our congregations, reaching out to: Hispanics, those with special needs, seniors, LGBT.

8 What keeps us from realizing our vision? 1.Lack of vision and leadership 2.Fear: 60% fear change/unwillingness to change; 20% fear failure 3.Selfishness: parochialism, self-preservation 4.Lack of resources: money, time, manpower, same people doing the same things 5.Lack of Evangelism 6.Cultural pressures 7.Tradition: Hanging onto old ways, slow to embrace new technologies and cultural shifts 8.Inability to reach younger generations

9 How can the Bishop and the Diocese be Helpful? Foster Communication PR/Marketing: Episcopal Church visible to public Teach, Educate, Train Reduce the asking Tension: “tell us what to do” vs. “leave us alone” Bishop who is charismatic; personal relationship Facilitate churches working together

10 Additional Comments Prefer to stay as the Diocese of Easton Don’t water us down! –BCP, traditions important; don’t lose our identity Something has to change Concerns about change

11 What is the Best Way for the Church to proclaim the gospel of Christ, to celebrate the people’s ministries, and to grow the Church on the Eastern Shore of Maryland? Our answer should reflect on our values and yearnings

12 As the Diocese of Easton We Value: Our faith in God; Holy Scriptures; following the commandments of Our Lord Jesus Christ Tradition: Our Anglican heritage, liturgy, history, and sense of place Mission outreach to those in need Being open, inclusive, welcoming Coming together

13 In the Diocese of Easton We Yearn For: Leadership and Vision More Effective Communication Knowing how to be evangelists and being successful at evangelism Working together Reaching the next generation

14 What do we need to keep in mind as we move forward to discern where we are headed in the future?

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