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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


LGBT Christian
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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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Re: starting parishes

  • Subject: Re: starting parishes
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 17:36:45 -0400

I encourage people to view several related  graphs I have published at

The 1880s provided the most dramatic increase in new parishes.  Has anyone
done at detailed study of how those were formed, especially the details of
financing them, staffing them, housing them....?   At what point did clergy
become involved as paid staff?

Today many talk as if you don't have a church until you have a building and
a full-time clergy person paid at least the diocesan minimum.

My own parish, Grace/Newark, began in the 1830s and did not build its
gorgeous Upjohn building for over a decade.   Initially they met in a store,
and when they built their own building, they rented the store space to newly
arrived  German immigrant Christians.  The founders of Grace were not poor,
but patient, with great expectations.

To this day in our annual reports we learn how money is still being made and
spent from the fund created when the Germans later bought the store.

Steadily all over Newark I watch Korean Christians move into neighborhoods,
rent a large old house for their meetings, and then thrive substantially
enough to buy a lovely "proper" building from Presbyterians or Episcopalians
or Catholics or other 'mainline Christians' who no longer have enough
members to maintain a congregation in that place.

"House church" does not sound "Episcopalian" to most folks.  We might be a
stronger faith community if it did.

Voluntary societies within TEC often enjoy a great advantage by owning no
real estate.  They can adapt to changing needs more rapidly.     Yet
occasionally even they have trouble with transitions.  When it folded a few
years back, Integrity/NYC had a problem disposing of the huge collection of
fine vestments that had been made or purchased over the years by members --
they tried hard to find places for the vestments that would treasure not
only the art but also the art's connection to the community for whom the
vesetments were made.

Recently a new chapter in NYC has emerged, with young leadership, meeting
primarily in apartments, with great vitality, and few "things."  It has no
staff but priests galore, straight and gay, anxious to serve.

Louie, L1 Newark