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Western Kansas Episcopal Bishop Says Diocese Will Disappear Without Growth

Western Kansas Episcopal Bishop Says Diocese Will Disappear Without Growth
Every congregation in the diocese has experienced shrinkage in the past generation

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
January 7, 2017

The Episcopal Bishop of Western Kansas, Michael Pierce Milliken, says his diocese will "disappear" unless Episcopalians can persuade Kansans to come to church.

Writing in The Prairie Spirit, the official organ of the diocese, Milliken told Episcopalians that he is resigning as bishop at the end of 2018 and the Standing Committee will meet in early 2017 to begin the process to search for a new bishop.

The bishop said that anyone who takes the position will have to serve in a dual-role capacity based on lessons he had learned over the past 6 or 7 years of his episcopacy.

He said that at the last convention, the diocese voted not to consider any merger with the Diocese of Kansas, but he cautioned that "diocesan vitality does not exist just because we wish it so."

"To remain a stable and viable diocese into the future we will need two basic things (in addition to faith and prayers), those being people and money!

"Until you and I are willing to reach out to the world around us and invite people into our faith fellowship we will continue to shrink and finally disappear. Every congregation in our diocese has experienced shrinkage in the past generation. We wring our hands and lament that no one comes to church anymore. Maybe, instead of wondering why no one comes to church we should be inviting people to come to our church. After all if you are an Episcopalian you must find something in our liturgy, our spirituality, our world-view that speaks to your heart and soul...people are not going to know about all the great wonderful things we have to offer unless you invite them to join you in church."

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