Robinson: Our diocese grew by 3 percent last year.That would be our experience too: lots of unhappy RC making the swim. So all those dark prognosticators about the decline of the church need to remember that inclusion can be a great draw: inclusion and love are a much better message than exclusion and disdain.
Q: And that makes how many church members?
Robinson: There are 15,000 people in the diocese of New Hampshire.
Q: Who are you pulling in?
Robinson: We have received so many Roman Catholics and young families, particularly families who are saying, “We don’t want to raise our daughters in a church that doesn’t value young people in our church.”
Q: Which vote that you’ve taken here do you think will have more impact, the one on bishops, or the one on same-sex blessings?
Robinson: Blessings. There are a lot of gay and lesbian people out there who are looking for affirmation, who have no desire to be a bishop. I’ve been saying to them, give the Episcopal Church a try, give church another try, and this is the one I wanted to go home with. ..... It was amazing. We took the vote, there were closing prayers, and usually somebody says amen and we’re up and out of there. But last night not a person moved, for 10 minutes. There was absolute silence. I think we realized the momentousness of what we’d done. People just sat their quietly praying. It was amazing. It was almost as if we didn’t want to leave each other.