Great Expectations

The annual Convention of the Diocese of New York last weekend spawned the usual number of socially conscious resolutions. Numerous reports were presented of the good works performed by the diocese’s 200 congregations.

But the workshop on parish growth noted that the Episcopal Church tends often to have low expectations of its membership. They aren’t expected to tithe their incomes or attend church every Sunday. They don’t need to raise their children in the church or profess all the doctrines of the Creeds.

The workshop leader said that this attitude wasn’t conducive to church growth. Instead, church members should be encouraged to strive beyond their comfort zones. And church leaders shouldn’t be afraid to challenge their congregations to work harder and do more. I can’t think of anything in this advice that is contrary to the imperatives of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. —J. Douglas Ousley

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