Saturday, June 14, 2014

pecusa: the incredible shrinking church, part zillionth

PHOENIX, AZ: Episcopal Presiding Bishop Says Some Dioceses Will Disappear with Changing Demographics
Diocesan lines will shift to accommodate church mission
Some dioceses will merge in time as population densities change

By Mary Ann Mueller and David W. Virtue
June 13, 2014

Diocesan geographic boundaries are changing and “make no sense”. In the future, population density will determine new boundaries, announced Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at a press conference following a meeting of the church’s Executive Council.

In her remarks at the opening of the three-day Spring Executive Council she asked, "Do current geographic boundaries make the most sense for a sustainable future for each mission unit – otherwise called diocese?"
VOL asked the Presiding Bishop to elaborate on her understanding of what a "mission unit" is within The Episcopal Church.

"The reason for particular geographic boundaries today may not make sense in the context where people are distributed," she explained. "They were drawn a long time ago, sometimes just only on state lines."

Most early dioceses, including the original nine Episcopal Dioceses (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and South Carolina which formed General Convention in 1785) were drawn along state lines.

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