A large task force of Episcopal Church leaders has prepared a massive proposal of church restructuring that will be considered by the General Convention this summer. The House of Bishops is now getting ready to elect a new Presiding Bishop, who will serve for nine years.

The winds of change are blowing, which is just as well, since membership in the Episcopal Church declines every year, and dioceses pay less and less of the money they owe to the national church (about one-fifth of assessments aren’t paid.) Unfortunately, restructuring is can be a great substitute for the kind of change that actually increases membership and builds up the church.

Politicking to elect a new leader provides an excuse to avoid the harder work of deciding what a leader ought to say and do. Changing the structure of the church doesn’t necessarily help it define membership. People will be more likely to join us if they know what we stand for. —J. Douglas Ousley

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