I've been thinking today about the attempts made by the Presiding Bishop and one diocesan bishop on restructuring the church. Both the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Stauls made stale comments and limp remedies to the malady afflicting The Episcopal Church in these times. Basically it appeared to me as if they were simply trying to raise adequate funds (in their view) for the national church as it stands now. I didn't get the impression that they were ready for the radical decentralization and cost reductions that I think are necessary as the church declines and available resources continue to be diminished.
A diocesan bishop recently devoted hours of energy for a massive data input program from the laity and clergy of his diocese. Literally thousands of comments were duly recorded and distilled into major catagories. Last week this bishop sent a covenant document to all clergy and asked that each vestry and bishop's commitee subscribe to this covenant. The covenant was mundane and predictable: We will support you and you can support us; sort of a quid pro quo that was singularly uncreative and which changed absolutely nothing, except a promise that the diocesan staff will be organized around meeting congregational needs. I've heard that on before.
I say, "let's have another survey." If we keep on conducting surveys and data collection schemes, we thus don't have to do anything new or different. Make sure in the process that we rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic in such a way that when the ship goes down, all bishops are given reserved seats on the lifeboats.