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Statistical ups and downs

November 30, 2009 No Comment

The trend toward declining membership in Lutheran Church–Canada congregations continued according to the 2008 statistical reports submitted by 70 percent of LCC’s congregations. Baptized membership is just above 70,000 and confirmed membership stands at 52,836 in 315 congregations. Confirmed membership has dropped more than one percent per year over the past ten years. “You can look at the numbers and throw up your hands in dismay or you can take them as a challenge to reach out into your community and find new ways to proclaim the great good news of the Gospel,” noted LCC President Robert Bugbee.

However, the statistical report noted an increase in average attendance. The highest average attendance is in the East District, with 95 per week. ABC congregations average 94 and Central 66. East District congregations saw an increase of 18 per congregation over 2007. The other districts recorded declines. Although junior and adult confirmations were down from 2007, infant baptisms increased by more than 100.
“Across our synod our congregations touch lives in so many ways,” said the president. “We need to find ways to keep those people engaged in the life of the church so they can hear God’s Word.”
Despite the declines noted in existing congregations, mission outreach continues in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario where many people are hearing the Gospel for the first time.
On the financial side, the average confirmed member gives $552 per year (up by $5 over 2007) to support the local congregational work and $94 (up by $3) per year for the work synod does on behalf of all members.
For the first time, congregations could submit statistical information electronically and the return rate was higher than 2007. However, more than 90 congregations did not submit a report.

Detailed reports are available at http://www.lutheranchurch.ca/what.php?s=stats

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