Does the polity of the Episcopal Church make it more difficult for us to minister among the poor?
Think about it. Our churches are supposed to be self-sustaining. If you look around the country, the ones that are truly flourishing are located disproportionately in affluent neighborhoods and have affluent members. Diocesan budgets are lean and not geared to providing long-term support to churches that are never going to become financially self-sufficient.
Does this keep us from sustaining communities of faith in poor neighborhoods where the church, in many ways, is needed most? I am not asking whether this keeps us from providing charitable support to individual people, doing “outreach” in needy neighborhoods or working politically for economic justice. I am asking whether our structures limit the kinds of communities in which the Episcopal Church can have churches.
What do you think?