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THE CLERGY SHORTAGE

By William J. Bausch

breaking trustLet’s look into the clergy shortage. Notice, by the way, I emphasize the word "clergy" for all denominations are in shortfall. In the Episcopal Church for example, which allows a married clergy, "the situation is grave," according to the Rev. Hugh Magers, a member of the congregational ministries cluster in Manhattan. In Reform Judaism there is a critical shortage of rabbis, and about 200 out of 895 congregations are with out a full time rabbi. Reform rabbinical ordination classes have dropped from having sixty candidates twenty years ago to only twenty today. Orthodox Judaism is experiencing the same shortage. The United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, the Lutherans, United Methodists, and all the rest are experiencing a shortage of clergy. Across the board, people are just not interested in becoming clergy, pointing out that entering the clerical life does not necessarily revolve around the issue of celibacy.

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