The results are quite different from recent years. Average Sunday attendance (ASA) will show an actual increase in 2011 of less than 1,000 persons. However, since Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday in 2011, this essentially adds an extra Sunday to the count. The same thing happened in 2005, when the decline abated, but did not result in an increase. Adjusting for the “Christmas Eve Effect” results in an adjusted loss of slightly less than 12,000 persons or -1.8%. This is less than half the net and percentage loss experienced in 2010 and the smallest percentage loss in average Sunday attendance since 2002 (adjusting for the Christmas Eve effect in 2005).
In terms of active baptized members, the results are similar to ASA, but there is no Christmas Eve Effect to worry about. In 2011 we expect membership to decline by around 27,000 members, or -1.4%. Again, this decline is the lowest in percentage terms since 2002 and about half the loss the Episcopal Church experienced in 2010 when domestic dioceses declined by 54,436 members (-2.7%).
The financial picture is less positive than hoped, but also shows improvement over 2010.