Thursday, July 19, 2007

ELCA Membership Drops 1.6 Percent to 4.8 Million in 2006

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) had 4,774,203 baptized members in 10,470 congregations atthe end of 2006, according to the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, ELCA secretary. Those figures represent decreases of 76,573 baptized members and 79 congregations since 2005.

In the past 16 years the ELCA lost approximately 466,000baptized members from the 5,240,739 members reported in 1990,Almen said. More than two-thirds of the decline occurred between 2002 and 2006, with a combined decrease of 325,674 baptizedmembers

Nineteen congregations with a combined baptized membership of 7,196 withdrew from the ELCA in 2006.

Anyone think there is a coincidence that 2/3 of the loss happened since 2002. What happened in 2002? Mark Hanson began his role as Presiding Bishop and we began to the Journey Together Faithfully process.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good point.

WordAlone released a good statement yesterday directed at folks attending the Churchwide Assembly:

http://www.wordalone.org/nr/sexuality-not-up-for-vote.shtml

Darel said...

I, my wife and our three children won't be counted until the 2007 statistics are released, but we left the ELCA and by the grace of God were received into the Catholic Church on February 18.

Mainline Protestantism has had its day in the sun. It has accomplished much, but ultimately has succumbed to its own contradictions and errors. There is never any "going back" -- but what does "going forward" mean for the ELCA??

A Simple Sinner said...

Darel - Welcome Home!

I am, I admit, a day late and a dollar short when it comes to posting here in a timely fashion - the post being almost a year old...

But I stumbled upon it while doing some research about the ELCA and some of the "mainline modernism" that gets precious little media attention in the news-sources I actually follow (Those Episcopalians are such headline hogs!:))... I am only vaguely aware of the kulturkampf in the ELCA between folks affirming traditional concerns of morality versus parites who are pro-homosexual. (The rumblings, again, seem low and a lot of it goes well under my rada...) To my amature eyes (not a traditional "Lutheran watcher" here) the ELCA seems to be only a few steps behind (by a few short years) of the Episcopal Church... Is that a fair assesment?

The disaffiliation of congregations in the ELCA seems to be much quieter and so far I have read of no "battle for bricks & mortar" (a la TEC) over them. Actually, today is the first I have read about congregations leaving - I am finding articles about some that go back to 2002... Not much fuss of fanfare, but more seem to be leaving each year since then.

Where might be some good sources to look for more info?

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...