Episcopal Cathedral to Close

I am never happy to see any Church close regardless of the denomination.  I always feel for the people who attend Church there and what they must be going through.  Recently, 4 Roman Catholic Churches in Southbridge were merged into one.  Although this move was necessary for many reasons, it is still very hard on the people who are there.

News comes from Wilmington, Delaware that the Vestry of the Cathedral Parish have voted to close the Church next year.  This is the Cathedral Parish of the diocese with a school!  One has to wonder what happened.

Over at the Blog, To All the World, the author speculates about the closing.  The Church prided itself on inclusion and social justice ministry and the author speculates that this is what lead to their demise.  If you substitute inclusion, diversity, and social justice for the Gospel things will not always work out.  At the end of the article he has this to say:

Apparently the emphasis on diversity and inclusion wasn’t sufficient to build a congregation big enough even to continue to operate.

This is where the Episcopal Church has made a huge mistake: substituting inclusion and social justice for evangelism. (But when you have lost sight of the biblical gospel, what else can you expect?) It was the death of the 20/20 program, and to the extent that the rest of the Episcopal church follows this trend (and it is!) it will be the death of the denomination.

Don’t misunderstand me: Evangelism is supposed to be inclusive. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…” (Mark 16:15). The gospel is about diversity: “make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). But inclusion and diversity (social justice, the Millennium Development Goals, etc.) apart from the authentic, saving Gospel of Jesus Christ is a futile and empty thing–one that offers no true salvation but only death.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.  Although the Gospel is indeed diverse and inclusive we cannot substitute good ole Biblical preaching, teaching and evangelism for whatever thing the wind happens to blow in.  It’s our job to preach the truth as revealed in the Gospel and handed down through the ages by the Church, not to preach whatever happens to be popular today!  Being a Christian is hard, just ask the martyrs.


  1. As you always say "love the sinner but hate the sin"
    we must include all people in our church,but as they grow in faith and understanding,they must learn through love,what the rules are and how to attain those rules.
    The church should not change its core teachings,but should help those in the faith work toward attaining and trying to fulfill those rules.
    Step by step with love and guidance until that person,like the rest of us, can follow the church teachings.
    Jesus never changed his message of right and wrong but he did encourage,through parrables and teachings,the right way to fulfill the rules of God.
    Its a never ending,day to day,trial and error goal to be met.

  2. Dale,

    I did not realize that the Orthodox had a fixation on ethnicity, language schools and social clubism. You obviously know more about the Orthodox Church then I do.

    Thanks for your comments.

  3. Dear Fr. Peter,

    I realise that my answer to you might seem rather in bad taste, but here is my close encounter of the ethnic kind.

    Several years ago I was a member, the Slavonic canter, trained the servers, and Sunday school teacher at St. Simeon's Serbian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. The parish had become pan-Orthodox until the parish council, with the support of the Serbian bishop, declared that no non-Serbs could be members. We could pay dues, and attend, but not to have a voice in the parish, or be sunday school teachers or serve at the altar, since the parish existed to preserve Serbian culture and langauge, and that we had to understand that the parish existed only for Serbian people. I was personally attacked for singing Slavonic with a Ruthenian accent!

    After this, the parish switched from a mostly English liturgy to liturgy in modern Serbian.

    One should mention that there were no converts in the parish, all were of traditional Orthodox origin.

    Needless to say, the parish is 100% Serbian today.

    Since you have not had this experience, obviously, I can only deduce that in the regard of rank phyletism, I have perhaps have had more experience than you.

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