The Palm Beach Post has an interesting story about the “new Episcopalians” in Southeast Florida:
In the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, which includes Palm Beach County, attendance is up or at least holding its own. This diocese is bucking a nationwide trend as a group of energetic reformers works to make their church meaningful to the very people who are drifting away from church — the young.
Younger people, said Tobias, “are tired of the old ways. They are not feeling the relevance.”
The changes may take the form of a backyard Mass for Spanish-speaking neighbors who can’t attend on Sundays because they are working. Or it may be a blessing of the animals, which is an unintimidating method of introducing young families to a parish. It may be a service designed just for children.
Holy Redeemer in Lake Worth was past its prime when Christina Encinosa arrived as pastor in 2004. Two years later, she had to preside over the demolition of the church, which was a kind of death for her congregation. Built in 1960, the church had structural problems aggravated by Hurricanes Frances and Jean. The small congregation regrouped in the church hall.
“When we took down the cross in 2006, I told them we would have to learn how to be a church,” said Encinosa, 34. “The church is not the building, the church is wherever we are.”
Read full story here.