The New York Times reports on the aging trend that is often reflected in Episcopal churches around the US:
With just 71 babies born on average for every 100 residents who die, Brooke County, in which Weirton is partly located, has the largest such gap in the nation among counties in metropolitan areas, save for a handful of places that are magnets for retirees. (Hancock County, which contains the other part of Weirton, is in similar demographic straits.)
The main reason Brooke County is so far off the national number — which is 171 births to 100 deaths — is that it has missed out on one of the dominant demographic trends to emerge from the recent census: the influx of young immigrants into communities across the United States. The median age for Hispanics, by far the largest immigrant group, is just 27, far lower than the median age for whites of 41.
Without immigrants or economic opportunities to keep its younger residents close to home, Brooke County and others like it are showing their age. At St. Paul Catholic Church in Weirton, the Rev. Larry Dorsch has buried 15 people this year and baptized one. …
Fewer people means, inevitably, less of a sense of community. Father Dorsch spends his days looking for ways to revive it. …
“It’s like a clinically depressed person, who curls up on the couch and withdraws,” he said of Weirton. “It’s the hardest assignment I’ve ever had.”
The demographics have created a death spiral, both literal and metaphorical
Is this the story of your church? Is part of The Episcopal Church’s decline in numbers because our membership is predominately aging white folks?