LCC numbers for 2009 continue troubling trend

Baptized membership trend 1999-2009

WINNIPEG – Like every annual report, the 2009 statistics for Lutheran Church–Canada show gains and losses, and offer good news and bad.

Continuing a multi-year trend, baptized membership (all people on a congregation’s membership list) in LCC congregations declined 1.7 percent in 2009 to 68,735. The largest decline was in the ABC District at 2.3 percent. The same district showed the highest decline—3.6 percent—in confirmed membership (usually those over 13 years old). The smallest decline in adults was in the East District at .3 percent. Overall, confirmed membership in LCC declined 1.9 percent in 2009 to 51,650.

The Central District showed the highest increase in the number of adults confirmed, 17 more than in 2008 for a total of 65. ABC recorded the greatest number of adult confirmations at 94, however that was 90 less than 2008.

Enrolment in Adult Bible studies was up for the third consecutive year to more than 5,500, however the number of children in Sunday school continues declining.

The percentage of baptized members attending services remains relatively constant at 38 percent or an average of 76 in LCC’s 319 congregations and 11 preaching stations. LCC’s largest congregations are in the East District with an average baptized membership of 248.

“It is a matter of grave concern when people absent themselves from the heartbeat God brings to them in His Word and the Sacraments,” remarked LCC president, Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee. “Primary effort and work will need to go into the business of bringing people into contact with the Means of Grace, and of holding them there.”

At its last meeting, the Council of Presidents reported 59 congregations currently without a pastor. Twenty-three were in the process of calling a pastor, two were calling a second pastor, and 34 were vacant and not calling a pastor.

Despite a decline in overall membership, annual giving increased. Confirmed members of congregations who submitted reports gave an annual average of $640 (about $12.30/week) to their congregations.
Giving to the work LCC undertakes on behalf of the entire church was down by almost $60,000 to $3.89 million or $97 a year per confirmed member. This amount funds regional congregational support services, church worker preparation, overseas missions, theological supervision and communication in LCC’s national office and three district offices.

More than one-third of LCC’s congregations did not submit an annual statistical report.

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: September 10, 2010
Posted In: National News, News,

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