Episcopal Church Split: What Does Future Hold?

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The top bishop of the Episcopal Church is admitting that her denomination is in decline, while church leaders move closer to accepting gays and lesbians for all roles in ministry.

Katherine Jefferts Schori told bishops at the Episcopal General Convention in Anaheim, Calif., that 19,000 more members die each year than are born or baptized into the Episcopal Church.

Julia Duin is a religion editor with the Washington Times, and she joined CBN News with more perspective on the Episcopal Church's decision to accept gay and lesbians in the ministry.

Click the player for Duin's analysis of the split in the Episcopal Church and ramifications for the future.

And she says evangelism is the way to reverse that trend.

She acknowledges that Episcopalians "for a long time didn't do evangelism" and now "need to be sent out into the world to take the good news of Jesus."

But Schori's call for evangelism conflicts with comments she made last week that personal salvation is "idolatry."

She said salvation is "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

Meanwhile, the Episcopal Church moved toward affirming gay clergy for all roles in ministry.

Bishops voted 99-45 with two abstentions for a statement declaring "God has called and may call" to ministry gays in committed lifelong relationships.

Lay and priest delegates to the meeting approved a nearly identical statement, and were expected to adopt the latest version before the meeting ends Friday.

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