A recent article in the Living Church by the dean of a large southern cathedral recounts his experience on a large and extremely diverse committee that was formed in 2000 to develop a plan to double the attendance of the Episcopal Church in 20 years. Dubbed “20/20,” the plan received much publicity initially and lavish funding at the national church headquarters. But after only a few years, the initiative was virtually dead–apparently because of opposition from the Executive Council. Decline has since accelerated and the national church leaders have moved on to a more social agenda, leaving evangelism behind.
What is new in the article is the claim that it was Executive Council that derailed the effort. I would bet that that the vast majority of lay members of the Episcopal Church have never heard of this body, members of which are elected by the General Convention and by itself. Yet this group stopped what would at least have been an attempt to reverse the membership losses of the past two decades. It will be interesting to see if anyone in that group bothers to refute the charge.