The Sunday Budget Blues are not unique to this time or place, so I am sticking with what I wrote in 2009,Last year, the budget for 2014 projected a $53,710 shortfall. Fortunately, money appeared in the last quarter to provide a surplus, thus leaving $11,710 to be carried into 2015. At this year's parish meeting, the vestry presented another deficit budget with a predicted shortfall (factoring in last year's surplus) of $47,670.
"If you preach the Word of God, it will come."The corollary is also true,
"If you preach any other gospel, you will be left singing the Parish Budget Blues."And how much does it cost to preach the Gospel of Christ?
"If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe betide me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel..." (1 Corinthians 9)
Here we go again.
The risk of doing this year after year is that sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost.
As I said last year, cut out the money you send Bishop Waldo. He has proven to be the purveyor of false teaching as regards to his "Curriculum on Same Sex Blessings" which he has asked every parish in the diocese to study before we meet in convention in October.
That's really going to help those parish budget blues!
The utter failure of the new revisionist, all inclusive, radical centrist gospel to lead people to Christ is reflected in the numbers of pewsitters, baptisms, and funerals that we saw in our annual parish report.
Recall 2013's stats:
- Attendance dropped 17.8% from 8,482 in 2012 to 6,970 in 2013.
- Baptized members dropped 22% from 454 to 353.
- Baptisms fell from 6 to 2.
- There were zero confirmations,
- zero reaffirmations,
- zero weddings, and
- 12 funerals in 2013.
- 2 people transferred in and
- 14 transferred out and
- 55 were moved to inactive status.
- Attendance dropped 10.1% from 6,970 in 2013 to 6,265 in 2014 (despite one additional Sunday).
- Baptized members dropped 11% from 353 to 314.
- Baptisms were steady at 2.
- There were zero confirmations,
- Zero reaffirmations,
- One wedding, and
- 10 funerals in 2013.
- 6 people transferred in and
- 7 transferred out and
- 22 were moved to inactive status.
|From the Diary of a Lake Nerd|
Such losses are unsustainable and the question is, "Has the Episcopal church augered itself so deeply into the barren, unforgiving world of Gospel denying, liberal causes that it can never back out?"
I just returned from the 2015 Mere Anglicanism conference in Charleston, SC, and I can say with confidence that there is a way out. It will require correction of erroneous teaching, and those who will not accept correction will have to be let go. It will require new teachers who can communicate the incredible true story of God and his only Son our Savior Jesus to an unbelieving world. It will mean abandoning the stakes that the Episcopal church have driven into the ground, returning to the source of all creation, and heeding His call to drop everything, including the Episcopal church's sacred cow: the revisionist sexual agenda, in order to follow Him.
And if that means we have to stop paying salaries to bishops and clergy who each year continue to lead fewer and fewer people onto the thin ice of revisionism in hopes of fishing for men, so be it.