From David Virtue's "VirtueOnline" web site: Substitute The Episcopal Church for the United Church of Canada and you will see the same result. Excellent article; some highlights:
But today, the church is literally dying. The average age of its members
is 65. They believe in many things, but they do not necessarily believe
in God. Some congregations proudly describe themselves as
"post-theistic," which is a good thing because, as one church elder
said, it shows the church is not "stuck in the past."
Back in the 1960s, the liberal churches bet their future on becoming
more open, more inclusive, more egalitarian and more progressive. They
figured that was the way to reach out to a new generation of
worshipers. It was a colossal flop.
"I've spent all my ministry in declining congregations," says David
Ewart, a recently retired United Church minister who lives in British
Columbia. He is deeply discouraged about the future of his faith. "In my
experience, when you put your primary focus on the world, there is a
lessening of the importance of worship and turning to God."
Clearly, changes in society have had an enormous impact on church
attendance. Volunteerism and other civic institutions are also in
decline. Busy two-career families have less discretionary time for
everything, including church. Sundays are for chores and shopping now.
As for Sunday school, parents would rather take the kids to sports.
According to opinion polls, people's overall belief in God hasn't
declined. What's declined is people's participation in religion. With so
little spiritual nourishment to offer, it's no wonder the liberal
churches have collapsed.
In the past few years, Mr. Ewart has spent time hanging out with
evangelicals - people who actually talk about loving Jesus. He admires
their personal, emotional connection to God. Lately, he has even started
praying. Perhaps he could pray for the church in which he spent his
life to stop its self-immolation. But it's probably too late.
To read the entire article, click on Canada: The Collapse of the liberal church