Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Network's Imaginary Congregations

From Christianity Today:

...At least 250 congregations have broken away from TEC since 2003, including more than 40 in 2006 alone...
There they go again. We've pointed out before that this 250 number is simply false. Yet, there still has been no evidence provided to support such an inflated number.

One more time, from epiScope:

...According to a September 2007 update from director of research Kirk Hadaway, out of some 7600 total TEC congregations, inside and outside the U.S., since 2003:

  • 32 have LEFT--the majority of the congregation expressed a desire or voted to withdraw from TEC; the bishop declared the congregation abandoned and notified the General Convention Office, where the church is now listed as non-filing/closed.
  • 11 have SPLIT--meaning a significant number, usually including the clergy, have departed TEC, but a significant number remain in TEC.
  • 23 have VOTED TO LEAVE--meaning a significant number, usually including the clergy, have expressed a desire to withdraw from TEC.

    Repeated ENS requests since 2000 for a basic list and membership figures for "former TEC" congregations claimed by the AMiA, NACDP/ACN, CANA and other dissident groups have been ignored or rebuffed. No such information is available on their websites.

    By contrast, you can easily get TEC clergy and congregation information on the main TEC site, ECDplus, or the Red Book site -- plus churchwide research and statistics, and the triennial budget, monthly operations statement, and audited financial statements.
  • Christianity Today really needs to do a little fact checking before publishing such inaccurate statements.

    Leaders of the Network: You are intentionally providing false information to the press. This is more evidence of your willingness to use unethical means to accomplish your goals.

    If I am wrong, please provide the evidence, and I will gladly withdraw this accusation.

    J.

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