Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Canadian Anglican Churches For Sale: Fruit Ripe For the Picking?

This story from the National Post about a historic former Anglican church building being taken apart and shipped to Louisiana to become the home for a Southern Baptist congregation in Abita Springs caught my attention as I considered the future of the Episcopal church and its buildings. As one denomination declines, another grows, and I consider this to be evidence that God will provide for those who are faithful.
"For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29"
The article about the 200 year old timber frame building in Nova Scotia contains some interesting tidbits,
"Strangely, it was All Saints’ inscribed cornerstone date of 1814 that particularly stuck out for the Louisiana pastor, as it means that the church would have been completed just as British forces were massing for the Battle of New Orleans, the last major clash of the War of 1812 — and a decisive victory for Louisiana."
But the article ignores the theological waywardness of the Canadian Anglican Church as one of the underlying causes of church closures. Denominational decline is more likely to impact small churches first, but the article tends to blame "population change" as the cause of the decline.
"Previously located in the rural community of Granville Centre, in 2005 All Saints Church was one of seven rural Anglican churches that were selected for closure due to the province’s plummeting rural population."
In the Episcopal church denominational decline caused by theological waywardness is impacting smaller missions and small congregations. Other denominations build new churches or import buildings from Canada, but ask yourself, "How many new congregations have we planted?"
As far as our diocese goes in this neck of the woods the answer is a negative number, -1 (the closure of St. Matthias in 2011).
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:16-20

h/t Opinionated Catholic for posting the link to the National Post story.

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